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  • Takshashila Discussion Document – A COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy for India (11/25/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Discussion Document in PDF by Shambhavi Naik, Ameya Paleja, Mihir Mahajan, Narayan Ramachandran, Sunila Dixit, Rahul Matthan, Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Deploying COVID-19 vaccines once they are available is going to be an unprecedented administrative and logistical challenge. This paper proposes a plan to vaccinate 80% of India’s population by December 2021. […]
  • All Things Policy: The World Health Assembly Meets Amid a Pandemic (11/25/2020) by Sunila Dixit - While the pandemic rages on without end, the 73rd World Health Assembly has passed important resolutions relating to vaccination, food security, and other diseases. Manoj Kewalramani and Sunila Dixit talk about the recent resolutions as well as the controversial resolution passed in May calling for an investigation into WHO handling of the crisis. Referred link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/02/world/who-china-coronavirus.html
  • Of regulating information and disorder: MisDisMal-Information Edition 25 (11/24/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This is an excerpt from edition 25 of MisDisMal-Information (Of regulating information and disorder)– For the complete edition, go here. There was a lot of concern over the weekend as Kerala’s Governor gave his assent to an ordinance to amend the Kerala Police Act ostensibly in response to rising information disorder and defamatory attacks on women and […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Surya Prakash BS on Reimagining India’s Revenue (11/24/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, lawyer and accountant Surya Prakash BS joins Pranay Kotasthane to talk about how India’s byzantine revenue system can […]
  • China wants a reset with Biden, but won’t change its approach (11/23/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - There has been much debate about why China was slow to acknowledge Joe Biden’s election victory. It took nearly a week after Biden’s victory speech for China’s foreign ministry to issue formal congratulations. Xi Jinping is among the few world leaders who still hasn’t spoken to Biden. Despite that, Beijing has been watching the unfolding […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #88: Economics Matters, Capitalism Works (11/23/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • Eye on China: LAC, FDI, RCEP – Bhutan Village – Nepal’s Politics – Big Defaults – Xi’s Summits – New US Approach – Warning Australia – EU’s Dependence (11/23/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties Over the last two weeks, there have been reports of India and China agreeing to some sort of partial disengagement and de-escalation formula in Eastern Ladakh. It’s all rather sketchy and […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Kunal Singh on Leveraging the India-US Partnership (11/23/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Kunal Singh, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about how […]
  • Nations are hurting themselves in their big fight with Big Tech (11/22/2020) by Nitin Pai - This article was originally published in Live Mint. Views are Personal. In a recent interview with The Atlantic magazine, Barack Obama described social media as “the single biggest threat to our democracy”, arguing that these platforms had destroyed the common narrative necessary for democracy to function. He held tech companies partly responsible, contending that, “The […]
  • Atmanirbharta may come at a price (11/21/2020) by Ajit Ranade - This article was originally published in Mumbai Mirror. You can read the full piece here. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which was formed 20 years ago, has more than 12 crore customers – 10 percent of all the telecom subscribers in the country. In landline connections, it has nearly half of the two crore landline […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Shruti Rajagopalan on India’s Strength in Numbers (11/20/2020) by Anupam Manur - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Anupam Manur to talk about how India’s population is one of its biggest assets. […]
  • Watch on Japan | #5 Science Council Reform – MALABAR Exercise – BIDEN’s Win, Wait & Watch situation for Japan – ASEAN Annual Summit. (11/19/2020) by Divya Suresh - Watch on Japan | #5 Science Council Reform – MALABAR Exercise – BIDEN’s Win, Wait & Watch situation for Japan – ASEAN Annual Summit. By Divya Suresh HIGHLIGHTS: 1st Nov –15th Nov. ● Suga calls for Science Council reform. ● The Suga government faces a row of questions over the Science Council and the dispute remains […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Raja Karthikeya on India as an International Mediator (11/19/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Raja Karthikeya, a UN diplomat, joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about how international mediation […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Ameya Naik on India and the Rules-Based International Order (11/18/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Ameya Ashok Naik joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about the rules-based international order. Is […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – A Strategy to make India a Biotech Leader by 2025 (11/17/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF The biotechnology and healthcare sectors will underpin India’s effort to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, revive the economy and maintain long-term economic competitiveness. However, key internal challenges including regulatory opacity, supply chain friction, and shortage of quality talent need to be addressed. This document analyses the biotechnology and healthcare sectors […]
  • Bursting firecrackers on Diwali isn’t the problem. Making it a national and moral issue is (11/17/2020) by Nitin Pai - As I write this, there is a continuous stream of firecrackers outside the window of my Bengaluru apartment: relatively subdued in my immediate vicinity compared to previous years, but nevertheless quite vigorous. It is just as well that the Karnataka government under B.S. Yediyurappa reversed its decision to ban firecrackers — albeit permitting only “green” ones — because […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Alok Prasanna Kumar on Reforming India’s Institutions (11/17/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Alok Prasanna Kumar joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about the issues that India’s institutions […]
  • Can the professor be stopped in India? (11/16/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Views are personal. If you binge-watch one show this year, let it be Money Heist. I started (and finished) the crime drama last week and have to say my favourite bits were the phone calls between the Professor and the Spanish law enforcement. In case you don’t […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #86: Production-Linked Subsidies & Decoding Charisma (11/16/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • China’s semiconductor gold rush: A reality check (11/15/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - The semiconductor industry has become a major front in the US-China tech war. Given that this is a weak link in China’s otherwise impressive technology stack, the US has imposed export controls restricting Chinese semiconductor companies from accessing key equipment, software, and intellectual property. This article was first published in the South China Morning Post. […]
  • The need for a more direct stimulus (11/14/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The finance minister announced a stimulus package called Atmanirbhar 3.0, so-called because it was the third in a series. The total rupee value of this stimulus for the economy is 2.65 trillion. A stimulus is supposed to put money in the pocket of the citizen so that he or she can start spending. That is, […]
  • Managing India’s Defence Expenditure Requires a Whole-of-Government Approach (11/13/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - “We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.” This logical fallacy, derisively labelled as the politician’s syllogism, accurately explains recent developments to contain defence expenditure in the wake of COVID-19. Balancing between development and defence priorities is a tough act even in the best of times. But the unprecedented economic aftermath […]
  • Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 2 | Biden & the Middle East (11/13/2020) by Madhuvanthi Srinivasan - Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 2: November 11, 2020 By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan Biden & the Middle East Joe Biden’s nomination as the Democrat candidate for the U.S presidential elections made Middle East observers evaluate his potential policies. Now, with his election to the White House, will Washington’s approach in the Middle East change significantly or will […]
  • Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine (11/13/2020) by Ameya Paleja - Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine By Ameya Paleja To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, India has a mammoth task of vaccinating a major share of her population. At Takshashila Institution, we recently recommended a strategy to vaccinate 80% of India’s population by December 2021. If you missed the engaging discussion during our webinar, you can find a […]
  • Flawed regulation can undermine the digital payment ecosystem (11/13/2020) by Anupam Manur - Anupam Manur writes in Hindustan Times on why the limits placed on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for third-party apps by NPCI is flawed. Systemic risks are automatically lower when consumers, merchants, and third-party app developers are all multi-homing, meaning they simultaneously use more than one app for the same purpose. The UPI ecosystem is radically […]
  • The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Disengagement; China’s Next Overseas Base; Taiwan and the US Marines; Veterans Legislation; Newer Construction in the South China Sea (11/13/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Disengagement? The eight Corp Commander-level meeting between China and India took place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel meeting point on November 6. The meeting which started at 9.30 am went up to 7 pm. Like the sixth and seventh Corp Commander-level meetings, this too was attended by diplomats […]
  • All Things Policy: Pfizer and the Hunt for a COVID-19 Vaccine (11/13/2020) by Sunila Dixit - What does Pfizer’s announcement about its COVID-19 vaccine mean? Why did Brazil halt China’s SinoVac vaccine trial? When will Serum Institute’s vaccine be ready? Manoj Kewalramani is joined by Ameya Paleja and Sunila Dixit to talk about progress being made towards workable vaccines for COVID-19.
  • All Things Policy: What India’s Information Ecosystem Can Learn from the US Elections (11/12/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Information disorder took center-stage in the 2020 US elections, with mass-media and social media platforms both amplifying and containing narratives. What lessons can the information ecosystem in India learn from them? Prateek Waghre is joined by Devika Khandelwal from ‘Logically’ and Himanshi Dahiya from ‘The Quint’ to talk about this. Relevant Links: 1. https://thewire.in/tech/2020-us-elections-information-ecosystem-social-media 2. https://www.logically.ai/articles/bihar-elections-how-reliable-polls 3. https://twitter.com/himansshhi/status/1326038194597498880
  • All Things Policy: How Will Biden Deal With China? (11/11/2020) by Suyash Desai - Will a Biden administration get tougher on Beijing? Will it ease the pressure? Or will it be more of the same? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss what the coming years might hold for US-China relations.
  • Economy to Decide Ties (11/10/2020) by Ajit Ranade - Kamala Harris will become the first-ever Vice President of America to have Indian ancestry. Senator Harris’ mother Shyamala Gopalan arrived in the United States at the age of 19 to do her PhD in nutrition and endocrinology at the University of California in Berkeley. Harris has maintained her links with her maternal grandparents and other […]
  • Is the NEP 2020 really transformative? (11/10/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Is the NEP 2020 really transformative? By Samhit Reddy The National Education Policy 2020 introduces a slew of reforms and also seems to appreciate the importance of education for social and economic development. Unfortunately, it fails to adequately investigate the causes of the miserable state of education in our country and thus to provide feasible […]
  • All Things Policy: What Ancient Egypt Tells Us About Ourselves (11/10/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Cleopatra, the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt is closer to our time than the Great Pyramid of Giza was to her time. How did ancient Egypt last so long? And how did it combine dynamism with endurance? Anirudh Kanisetti joins Aditya Ramanathan to discuss the origins, ascent, and eventual decline of this astonishing civilization […]
  • EC should allow Biharis in Bengaluru to vote for state polls. US showed every vote matters (11/10/2020) by Nitin Pai - Many of those who followed the drama of the US presidential election last week were struck by the seemingly patchy and disorganised manner in which the votes were counted. This also led to the impression that Joe Biden “caught up” with Donald Trump in the four battleground states that ultimately swung the election in favour of the Democrats. A number […]
  • All Things Policy: What Today’s Submarines Owe to the Cold War and WWII (11/9/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The cutting edge features in naval submarines today are the legacy of Cold War-era technologies that were, in turn, derived from both Axis and Allied efforts from the 1930s. Suyash Desai and Aditya Pareek discuss the fascinating history of how today’s submarines came to be. You can read Aditya Pareek’s blog post on the subject […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #84: Factions Are Natural (11/8/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - India Policy Watch: The Indian State — Too Big or Too Small? Insights on burning policy issues in India — Pranay Kotasthane In edition #23, we tried to answer this question: how to think about the Indian state? Closely related is another question: is the Indian State too big or too small? And as it holds […]
  • India should create bubbles of trust with its geopolitical allies (11/8/2020) by Nitin Pai - A few months ago, this column had argued that the tech war between the United States and China is being fought across a flexible, porous bamboo curtain, and India’s interests lie in staying out of the Sinosphere while creating circles or bubbles of trust “with the US, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea that […]
  • Eye on China: LAC Talks – Xi’s 2035 Plan – Nepal’s Land – ANT Blocked – US Mocked – Aus Coerced – Buddhism Crackdown in Tibet – Covid Origins Probe (11/8/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties The eighth round of commander-level talks on the boundary issue was held on Friday. The talks apparently lasted from 9.30 am and ended at about 7 pm. There’s really little that’s […]
  • The PLA Insight: PLA Modernisation by 2027?; Border Dispute; Gwadar Mil Base; Mil Tech- Disruptive Technologies; CJ-100; CMC S & T Commission; PLA & AI Competitions (11/7/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: PLA by 2027: A Modern Army? The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee last week. The primary task was to assess the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and consider the draft proposal for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), but the […]
  • The consent of the loser (11/7/2020) by Ajit Ranade - One of the best speeches of a candidate conceding electoral victory to his rival was that of Senator John McCain in 2008. America had just elected its first ever black President. It was close to midnight on voting day November 4, after a gruelling campaign season that lasted several months. Of course, not all votes […]
  • Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 1| Erdoğan, Macron & Bad Blood (11/6/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 1, November 4, 2020. By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Islam is in crisis” comment, his defense for the caricatures republished by Charlie Hebdo & the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty reignited tensions with Turkish President Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan & the Muslim world, at large. But the Macron-Erdoğan spat […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Analysis of COVID-19 Serosurveys in India (11/6/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Download the Discussion Document in PDF The Union and various state governments have conducted seroprevalence surveys at national and city/state levels to study the spread of COVID-19. We argue The disparity in estimated cases as per seroprevalence studies and actual detected cases is a result of limited testing capacity and flawed testing strategy. City level sero-surveys can […]
  • All Things Policy: China’s Plan for the Next Five Years (11/6/2020) by Suyash Desai - China held the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee last week. The primary task was to assess the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and consider the draft proposal for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). What were the major takeaways from the plenary session? What are the significant economic, military, […]
  • Watch on Japan | #4 The first Diet session- Suga’s Overseas trip- UK-Japan trade deal- Zero carbon emissions by 2050 (11/5/2020) by Divya Suresh - Watch on Japan | #4 The first Diet session- Suga’s Overseas trip- UK-Japan trade deal- Zero carbon emissions by 2050 By Divya Suresh HIGHLIGHTS: 15th Oct – 31st Oct. ● Suga announced short-term, result-oriented domestic policies in the first Diet session, while his foreign policy remains closer to his predecessor. ●The issue of disposal of treated […]
  • A COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy for India (11/5/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - This paper first appeared in Indian Public Policy Review 2020, 1(2): 42 – 58 by Shambhavi Naik, Ameya Paleja, Mihir Mahajan, Narayan Ramachandran, Sunila Dixit, Rahul Matthan, Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Abstract Deploying COVID-19 vaccines once they are available is going to be an unprecedented administrative and logistical challenge. This paper proposes a plan to […]
  • All Things Policy: Rags to Riches: The Mystery of Social Mobility in India (11/5/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Social mobility refers to a change in one’s social status relative to one’s current social location. What are the factors impacting social mobility? What is the extent of social mobility in India? What are its impact on society, politics, and the economy? In this episode, Apurva Kumar and Sarthak Pradhan analyse some recent academic literature […]
  • All Things Policy: The Political Theatre of Section 230 (11/4/2020) by Prateek Waghre - The US Senate questioned the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google on whether Section 230- which shields them from liability for the actions of online users – enables their own ‘bad behaviour’. What’s driving this new bout of scrutiny? And how will this affect the policy landscape in India? Manoj Kewalramani speaks to Rohan Seth […]
  • Why India must vaccinate 80% of population by December 2021 — no matter what the cost (11/3/2020) by Nitin Pai - Planning for a national Covid-19 vaccination programme has begun to move forward in right earnest in India. Last week Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to state governments outlining the administrative structures to be put in place to oversee the implementation in their respective jurisdictions. As of now, the Narendra Modi government expects the vaccination programme to […]
  • A coalition to counter China will take some time to operationalize (11/3/2020) by Nitin Pai - This story was first published in The Mint. Views are personal. This week, another important cog in the machinery of strategic cooperation between India and the United States fell into place when the two countries signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (Beca) for Geospatial Intelligence. The agreement opens the doors for India to get access […]
  • All Things Policy: The Perils of Stubble Burning (11/3/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh contributes to air pollution in North India during the wintertime. Sowmya Nandan talks to Sunila Dixit about the causes behind the stubble burning and the policy actions taken by the state governments to curb it.
  • Future-Reliance saga has a scary message: If Amazon can’t enforce a contract, who can? (11/2/2020) by Rohan Seth - This story was first published in The Economic Times. Views are personal. In case you have not been paying attention, the pandemic has had a transformative impact on the future of Indian retail and e-commerce. Earlier in October, Kishore Biyani admitted that the pandemic had led to his company, ‘Future Group’, losing ₹7000 crores in 3-4 months. […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #82: What Does it Mean to be Free? (11/2/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about […]
  • All Things Policy: How Australia Sees the Indo-Pacific (11/2/2020) by Nitin Pai - In a historic development, Australia will join the Malabar naval exercise in November along with India, the US and Japan. High Commissioner Barry O’Farell joins Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane to talk about the exercise, bilateral ties with India, and the future of the Indo-Pacific.
  • Eye on China: Indo-Pacific – LAC Buffer Zones – 5th Plenum – PLA’s 2027 Target – Biden’s Policy – Zambia Debt – AI Patents & 5G – Risky Vaccinations (11/1/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties There’s no date yet, but reports suggest that next week, India and China should be holding the 8th round of commander-level talks about the situation at the LAC. Lt. General PGK […]
  • The unbearable rage of the road minister (10/31/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) was last week inaugurating their brand new building in Dwarka, in Delhi. The chief guest was, appropriately, their boss, Nitin Gadkari, the Union minister for highways. Gadkari is popularly known as Mr Highways for his impeccable record. Firstly, as PWD minister in Maharashtra from 1996 to 1999, he […]
  • All Things Policy: Understanding the Taliban’s Strategies for War and Peace (10/30/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - The United States, the Afghan government, and the Taliban are vying for advantage in the ongoing talks. In a conversation with Pranay Kotasthane and Aditya Ramanathan, Takshashila’s distinguished fellow, Anand Arni dissects the strategies of various players and what they mean for India.
  • All Things Policy: Reforming the Power Sector OR Can we have less power cuts? (10/29/2020) by Anupam Manur - Reforms are long overdue in India’s power sector. Does the recent draft Electricity Amendment Bill offer viable solutions? Anupam Manur and Sarthak Pradhan discuss the challenges India’s power sector faces and analyze whether the draft bill provisions can address them.
  • Centre raises hopes of free COVID-19 vaccine, but benevolence can’t be at the cost of the economy (10/28/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - This article first appeared in the Firstpost.  COVID-19 has assaulted the health of people and economies. The impact on the economy has led to further stress on people’s livelihoods. This unprecedented threat to public health has not been constrained by measures taken by national and state governments. All humankind is waiting with bated breath for […]
  • All Things Policy: Is Herd Immunity a Viable Strategy for COVID-19? (10/28/2020) by Sunila Dixit - A recent declaration from a group of experts calls for a different strategy to deal with COVID-19: one of achieving herd immunity while protecting the vulnerable. The majority of experts oppose this, pointing out that the idea is impractical and that there are no alternatives to robust public health measures. Sunila Dixit and Shambhavi Naik […]
  • Politicisation of Covid vaccine is a good thing — it means India will get it free (10/27/2020) by Nitin Pai - It is surprising that political parties were surprised that one of them — the Bharatiya Janata Party, as it happens — announced in its manifesto for the Bihar assembly election that it would provide free Covid-19 vaccines to everyone in the state if elected to power. By now they must know that the BJP under Narendra Modi and Amit […]
  • All Things Policy: Making Content Policy for Hate Speech (10/27/2020) by Prateek Waghre - It has been a busy time for content moderation and social media. Facebook has updated its policy on holocaust denial and Delhi’s Peace and Harmony Committee recently talked about the outcomes of content moderation practices on Facebook. Manoj Kewalramani talks to Prateek Waghre and Rohan Seth for analysis on developments. Link to register for our […]
  • Criminal taint grows on ballot choices (10/27/2020) by Ajit Ranade - In September 2018 a five-judge constitution bench that included the Chief Justice of India, pronounced an important verdict on criminals in politics. The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of candidates who have pending criminal cases. One of these petitions was a PIL filed by the Public Interest Foundation of India […]
  • All Things Policy: The Paradoxes of Pakistani Politics (10/26/2020) by Anand Arni - What’s fuelling political instability in Pakistan? Why are opposition parties rallying behind former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – and against army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa? Has the COVID-19 pandemic altered Pakistani politics? In a conversation with Suyash Desai, Pranay Kotasthane and Anand Arni try and unpack the dramatic developments in Pakistan.
  • A front-footed approach to the world calls for a strong economy (10/25/2020) by Nitin Pai - The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World is an interesting book because it is written by four authors: a scholar of international relations, a career diplomat, a serving foreign minister, and a member of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. It so happens that they are all named S. Jaishankar. Almost every paragraph in the […]
  • Eye On China: Views On Quad – LAC Situation – Q3 Data – Xi Warns US – Russia Alliance – Region Watch (10/25/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties Let’s begin this week of the India-China dynamic with news about Quad members. First, India’s defense ministry announced on Monday that Australia would join the Malabar 2020 naval exercise to be held next  […]
  • The PLA Insight: Issue no 75: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute; Taiwan-US Arms Deal and the PLA; New Personnel Training Regulations; PLA & the Korean War @ 70; the PLA 2.0 (10/25/2020) by Suyash Desai - The eight-round of corps commander-level meeting between China and India is likely to be held soon with the focus on disengagement in Eastern Ladakh before the setting-in of harsh winter. Already, the temperature in the region was around minus 5 degree Celsius this morning. read more
  • Cracked screen, broken dreams (10/24/2020) by Ajit Ranade - Introducing Rohit Varak, who at 16 is so mature for his age. He wants to be an electrical contractor, after getting an ITI training. His family lives in a remote village in northwest Goa. Rohit is acutely aware of his father’s struggle to secure a government job. Bhago has been trying for several years, even knocking on […]
  • All Things Policy: Who Really Wrote the Arthashastra? (10/23/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Arthashastra is famously believed to have been composed by Chanakya, the prime minister of Chandragupta Maurya. But a new wave of scholarship is challenging that idea. Was Chanakya real? Who really wrote the Arthashastra, and what does it tell us about the literature, courts and politics of both modern and ancient India? To get […]
  • India’s medical students can be trained to vaccinate half the population against COVID-19 by Dec 2021 (10/22/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - India’s medical students can be trained to vaccinate half the population against COVID-19 by Dec 2021 By Manjeera Gowravaram, Madhura Lohia and Sameer Wagle Given that a  COVID-19 vaccine is expected to become available in limited quantities from April 2021, India must have a strategy in mind to vaccinate the population in the shortest possible […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 23 (10/22/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 23 is reproduced below. Of letting bycotts be boycotts, banned if you don’t, Q-A-going-going-gone? Let bycotts be boycotts? No, that’s not a typo, bycotts are a thing (see image)👇 And I guess you’ve figured out where I am going with this. We’ve seen this faux-trage before. […]
  • All Things Policy: Submarine Cables: Why They Matter and Who Threatens Them (10/22/2020) by Aditya Pareek - Around 97% of all global communications are facilitated by submarine telecom cables. These cables, and the online connectivity they enable, are crucial to India’s economic recovery and progress. What are the possible threats to these cables? And how can India secure them? Anirudh Kanisetti joins Aditya Pareek to discuss. You can find Aditya Pareek’s research […]
  • India’s Australia Signal| Delhi’s horizontal escalation (10/21/2020) by Prakash Menon - For India, the announcement of Australia’s participation in the annual Malabar naval exercises of 2020 is a deliberate horizontal escalation of the continental border crisis whose present centre of gravity is Ladakh. The Malabar exercises began as an Indo-US bilateral exercise in 1992. In 2015, Japan joined in and India has now overcome its reticence […]
  • All Things Policy: Mental Health and the Pandemic (10/21/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Prolonged periods of isolation and loss of jobs due to COVID-19 have resulted in rising cases of suicide, depression, and anxiety. Open conversations about mental health are the best way to address the stigma surrounding it. Sunila Dixit talks to Ann John of Global Youth Mental Health awareness about various aspects of mental health and […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – Submarine Cables: A Maritime National Security Perspective for India (10/21/2020) by Aditya Pareek - Executive Summary: India’s economic recovery and national security in a post COVID-19 world heavily depends on its digital connectivity to the rest of the world. Submarine cables are crucial to ensuring this connectivity. We recommend that India safeguard its submarine cables through: Deployment of an all-encompassing Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). An increase in sortie rates […]
  • Bring back the family doctor. India has too many specialists (10/20/2020) by Nitin Pai - If you live in a medium-sized or larger town in India, chances are that you have a private medical clinic or hospital not too far from your home. Chances are that it will describe itself as a “multi-speciality clinic” and the reception area will have a long list of specialists who you could consult. Even […]
  • Serosurveys point to inadequacies in India’s COVID-19 testing strategy (10/20/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Over the past few months, a series of serosurveys for detecting the spread of COVID-19 have been carried out in India. The surveys are meant to identify the percentage of the Indian population with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, as an indicator of how widespread COVID-19 is in the population. The Indian Council of Medical Research led a national survey starting May […]
  • All Things Policy: To Break or Not to Break: Discussing the US Congressional Report on Antitrust (10/20/2020) by Rohan Seth - The US Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law came out with a 449-page report on monopoly power in digital markets. How might recommendations from this report impact the functioning of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook across different countries? Anupam Manur and Rohan Seth join Prateek Waghre in reading the fine print. Link to the […]
  • The unbearable goodness of being: A review of ‘Humankind’ by Rutger Bregman (10/19/2020) by Atish Padhy - Rutger Bregman, author of the New York Times bestseller, Humankind: A Hopeful History, attempts to address some important central questions of our times: Why do human societies today appear fundamentally broken, with depressing levels of inequality and a pathologically polarising media ecosystem? And what to do about it? Read More
  • Anticipating the Unintended #78: Radically Nefarious Outrage (10/19/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • All Things Policy: What’s Happening in Space? (10/19/2020) by Suyash Desai - It’s been an eventful couple of weeks in matters relating to space, with eight nations signing an agreement on moon exploration and new advances in the reusable craft. Suyash Desai talks to Aditya Pareek about these developments and more. You can check out Aditya Pareek’s newsletter Space Matters here: https://takshashila.org.in/space-matters-v-0-1/
  • Tech-Tonic: Who Scrubs Your Feeds? (10/18/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Given how 2020 has been so far, if I were to ask you your favourite month of the year, you would rightfully hang up on me and then call me names, not in that order. However, since football was back last month, I would say September was when […]
  • The Primacy of Sea Power in Managing China’s Push for Hegemony in the Indo-Pacific (10/17/2020) by Nitin Pai - Authors: Suyash Desai and Nitin Pai Keywords: Sino-Indian Dispute, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Indian Navy, PLAN, Partnerships, Sea Denial Abstract: The paper posits that sea power affords India the best way of managing Chinese power in the Indo-Pacific region. While border defences and use of land and air power along the Himalayan land frontiers is essential […]
  • The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute; Taiwan National Day & the PLA; SCS; Marine Corps; China’s Security Contractors; Drone Swarms; Veterans Law and more (10/17/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute Indian and Chinese Corp Commanders met for the seventh time to discuss disengagement and de-escalation at the Sino-Indian border. However, the meeting which started on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo point in eastern Ladakh achieved no breakthrough. The previous round, sixth Corps Commander-level meeting, was held on September 21. […]
  • The Bangladesh comparison (10/17/2020) by Ajit Ranade - India was a midwife in the birth of Bangladesh. She sent in her army to liberate the newly born independent nation, and even stood up to threats from the world’s mightiest power, the United States, which had sent its Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal. Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of state, contemptuously referred […]
  • Watch on Japan | #3 Suga seeks to revive the economy while being troubled with a Science Council scandal (10/16/2020) by Divya Suresh - HIGHLIGHTS: 1st Oct – 14th Oct ● The Suga government is prioritizing administrative reforms and the revival of the pandemic hit economy. ● Amidst a dispute over the appointment of science council members, Suga slipped down from his previous sky-high approval ratings. ● Japan runs in the race to become the next International financial hub. ● QUAD talks […]
  • All Things Policy: How the Portuguese Influenced India’s Culture (10/16/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - From a transformation of cuisines to vanishing creole languages to loan words we use every day, the influence of Portugal on the fabric of life in the subcontinent is endlessly fascinating. Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan join author Karthik Malli to discuss his research into this little-understood subject. Check out Aditya and Anirudh’s episode of […]
  • All Things Policy: The Hidden Realities Behind Crime Statistics (10/15/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - What state has the worst crime rates? That’s not easy to tell because crime statistics in India aren’t always accurate reflections of the actual crime situation. In this episode, Sowmya Nandan and Sarthak Pradhan discuss the origins of this problem and how it can be tackled.
  • All Things Policy: China’s Blueprint for Data Security (10/14/2020) by Rohan Seth - China recently launched the Global Data Security Initiative, laying out eight important principles. One of these principles talks about the need to use judicial processes to provide law enforcement access to data. That spells bad news for India. Prateek Waghre talks to Manoj Kewalramani and Rohan Seth to discuss the fine print. Link to Manoj […]
  • Breathe new life into public health. Far too many Indians rely on Baba Ramdev, Akshay Kumar (10/13/2020) by Nitin Pai - Media headlines and public discourse might not reflect it, but one of the most important policy priorities for India now and over the next decade is health. The immediate task, of course, is ensuring that we bring the pandemic under control within the next year. The longer term challenge is to create a health care […]
  • All Things Policy: The Trials and Tribulations of ASHAs (10/13/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Why did India’s auxiliary health workers, the ASHAs, go on strike? Sunila Dixit talks to Anirudh Kanisetti about the challenges ASHAs have faced – the increased burden from the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of protective equipment, and delays in salaries -and what can be done about it. Check out our previous podcast with Soumya Kapoor […]
  • China’s new data security initiative has implications for India (10/12/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. Recently, the Chinese government announced the launch of a new Data Security Initiative. Outlining its components, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hoped that China can provide a “blueprint” for the formulation of international rules for digital security. The Chinese initiative entails eight broad principles, which […]
  • All Things Policy: Taiwan’s China Threat (10/12/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Tensions between China and Taiwan are on the rise due to repeated Chinese military drills and activities in the Taiwan Strait. In this episode, Manoj and Suyash talk to Sunila about what it means for the future of China-Taiwan relations, and what should India’s Taiwan policy be. Check out our previous podcast on Taiwan: https://ivmpodcasts.com/all-things-policy-episode-list/2020/8/17/ep-392-pivoting-towards-taiwan Our […]
  • India’s local governments must do far better in raising revenues (10/11/2020) by Nitin Pai - Driving into Bengaluru’s city centre a couple of weeks ago after several months of working from home, I was pleasantly surprised to see well-demarcated parking spaces, electronic signs and payment kiosks along MG Road. Brihat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), our municipal corporation, had finally implemented a modern paid parking system, albeit only along a few […]
  • Eye on China: LAC – Quad Meets – Taiwan – Human Rights, Golden Week – Pew Survey – BRI & Yang in SL (10/11/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties An interesting week with new warnings from Washington and Beijing, as military commanders prepare for another round of talks tomorrow. First, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien talked about the LAC situation, saying […]
  • Covid hospital, not coastal road (10/11/2020) by Ajit Ranade - Mumbai is the richest municipality in India with a budget whose size dwarfs many state government budgets. For instance it is 50 per cent larger than the state budget of Goa. It can legitimately brag about many excellent hospitals, which provide highly subsidised healthcare services to the poor and vulnerable. Patients flock to Mumbai’s hospitals from across the […]
  • The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Stand-off; Nuclear Escalation; China’s India Dilemma; Increased China Taiwan Tensions; Ream Naval Base; US Elections and the PLA (10/10/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Stand-off The 7th round Corp Commander-level meeting between China and India will most likely be held on October 12 after the two sides agreed to continue and maintain close consultation at the diplomatic and military levels last week. The talks are slated just three days before the next Corps Commander, Lt […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 22 (10/9/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 22 is reproduced below. Of Q-A-Gone, Laughter, Models and Roles Q-A-gone This is one of the few occasions I won’t be starting off with an India-centric bit. And while the context maybe foreign, I think the ideas still apply Well, it happened, Facebook went after QAnon (again), but […]
  • All Things Policy: How Can States Help Themselves? (10/9/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - The stalemate between the Union and the states with regards to GST compensation continues. Even if it is resolved, it is going to be a temporary fix. States will need to explore ways to leverage their untapped revenue generation potential. In this episode, Pranay and Sarthak discuss how states can reduce their financial dependence on […]
  • All Things Policy: Does Facebook Risk Antitrust Action? (10/8/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Facebook reportedly aims to integrate Messenger and Instagram Direct. While this may have been in the works all along, it’s now stirring murmurs about US antitrust action. Aditya Ramanathan joins Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre to break down recent events. Rohan’s column: https://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/041020/tech-this-week-facebook-services-integration-comes-with-trade-offs.html Steven Levy’s book: https://www.amazon.in/Facebook-Inside-Story-Steven-Levy-ebook/dp/B081R296DR/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=facebook+the+inside+story&qid=1601961536&sr=8-2
  • All Things Policy: Ethics in Clinical Trials (10/7/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - ICMR’s 2017 ethical guidelines need a revision, with more focus on fundamental principles that govern the moral decisions and on ethical dilemmas that arise while conducting clinical trials/biomedical and health research. Sowmya Nandan talks to Sunila Dixit and Shambhavi Naik about the evolution of ethical guidelines in India and about the proposed ethical guidance questionnaire […]
  • India’s Covid data like counting potholes under streetlights. There are far more in the dark (10/6/2020) by Nitin Pai - There are two ways to deal with the uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The first is to take them as they come, and as I wrote in an earlier column, deal with the daily developments with a Stoic mind. To play the stroke according to the ball that comes your way. The second way […]
  • All Things Policy: How Should We Disagree Online? (10/6/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Interventions against problematic discourse online can result in amplifying it due a combination of group dynamics and algorithmic reward. For example, retweeting something controversial to debunk it might end up making it more popular. How can different participants – such as states, societies, platforms, and the media – position themselves in the face of such […]
  • Takshashila Working Paper — Constraining the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex In a Post-COVID World (10/5/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - by Pranay Kotasthane This is a draft of a paper published in Scholar Warrior (ISSN: 2319-7331, Autumn 2020), a Centre for Land and Warfare Studies Publication. Download the paper This paper surveys four major developments that impact the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex (MJC) in the recent months — change in MJC’s external benefactors, the US-Taliban Peace […]
  • Health or money? Why can’t Indians have both? (10/5/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Since the pandemic started, there have been news about Indians having to pay bills for COVID-19 treatment anywhere in the range from 1 lakh to 20 lakhs. One can only imagine the strain these bills would have put on the household finances. According to the National Health Accounts 2016-17 report, out-of-pocket expenditure accounted for 58.7% […]
  • All Things Policy: Choppy Waters in the South China Sea (10/5/2020) by Suyash Desai - As China asserts itself once again in the South China Sea, the United States outlines a new position, and regional actors react cautiously, Suyash Desai discusses the latest development and India’s options in a conversation with Sunila Dixit and Aditya Ramanathan.
  • Tech This Week | Facebook services integration comes with trade-offs (10/5/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. In case you are interested in technology policy, you might have heard rumours about Facebook trying to merge its services, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, for a few years now. The very idea of the move has proven to be controversial since its inception. Earlier […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #74: (Internet+Politics) & India’s Transition To An Industrial Society (10/4/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • Police reforms still a distant dream (10/3/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The Rashomon effect is named after a 1950 movie made by Akira Kurosawa. In the movie, a murder is described by four witnesses in contradictory ways. Their description reflects their own subjective interpretation and vested interests rather than the objective truth. If their testimonies are used as evidence in a litigation, this can result in […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 21 (10/3/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 21 is reproduced below. Of Humour, Framing, Tin-foil pyramids and Bot-ching Democracy Conspiracies, Rumour and Humour Just a joke, or not just a joke? Framing counts From 28th September – 2nd October, EU Disinfo Lab has been hosting a virtual conference on Disinformation (yes, yes, I know everyone is). Wednesday featured Emmanuel […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Ethical Guidelines for Clinical Trials and Research in India (10/1/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Download the Discussion Document in PDF This discussion document proposes a modified set of 8 ethical principles and a guidance questionnaire that researchers and ethics committees can refer to, to ensure that the research is within the ethical boundaries. ICMR’s ethical guidelines of 2017 need to be revised, with more focus on the fundamental ethical […]
  • Watch on Japan #2 | Suga becomes New PM of Japan & way forward with ‘Suganomics’ (10/1/2020) by Divya Suresh - Suga becomes New PM of Japan & way forward with ‘Suganomics’ By Divya Suresh HIGHLIGHTS: 15th, Sep -30th, Sep. · Yoshihide Suga becomes the PM of Japan, winning a landslide victory in Liberation Democratic Party’s presidential elections. He succeeds Shinzo Abe and promises to carry out his major policy initiatives. · Amidst the pandemic situation […]
  • All Things Policy: How China’s Belt and Road Initiative is Adapting to COVID (10/1/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Even as the world is buffeted by a global pandemic and massive economic slowdowns, China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is quietly adapting to the new realities. In a conversation with Rohan Seth and Aditya Ramanathan, Manoj Kewalramani discusses Beijing’s strategy and the risks that still lie ahead for BRI. You can read the […]
  • All Things Policy: Celebrities and Vaccines, From the 19th Century to the Present (9/30/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Can celebrities help build trust in a new vaccine? Shambhavi Naik and Anirudh Kanisetti talk to Aditya Ramanathan about the historical role celebrities have played in facilitating vaccinations in India since the early 1800s and why authorities could use platforms like the IPL to do so again. On the Mysorean queens who helped popularise vaccination: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-india-53944723 […]
  • WHO’s COVAX Vaccine Access Initiative Won’t Succeed Without India’s Help (9/30/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - by Ruturaj Gowaikar and Shambhavi Naik Despite multiple lockdowns, forms of treatment and therapies, and intermittently aggressive contact-tracing, countries around the world have failed to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus to the extent they had intended. A vaccine administered to 70-80% of the global population seems now to be the only path to […]
  • Tech This Week | The need for anti-trust reform (9/29/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. Earlier this month, the Competition Commission of India dismissed an anti-trust case against Amazon. Here is some context. The Dutch apparel company Beverly Hills Polo Club (BHPC) approached CCI, claiming that Amazon had been indulging in anti-competitive practices. They had plenty of allegations, and […]
  • Needed: Price Assurance (9/29/2020) by Ajit Ranade - One silver lining to the 24 per cent fall in quarterly GDP between April and June was that growth in the agriculture sector was positive at 3.4 per cent. This is the first time in India’s history that we are experiencing a steep recession without any adverse shock of drought or a failed monsoon affecting agriculture. Another […]
  • Modi govt mustn’t hesitate to make Covid vaccine free for Indians. It only costs Rs 80,000 cr (9/29/2020) by Nitin Pai - Adar Poonawalla’s recent tweet prompted some discussion on India’s vaccination strategy. The CEO of the Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, asked if “the government of India will have 80,000 crore available, over the next one year” to pay for the purchase and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to everyone in the country. My own colleagues estimate that it […]
  • All Things Policy: Online Fashion Vs Amazon (9/29/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Why did the Competition Commission of India rule in favour of Amazon in an antitrust case brought by a fashion brand? Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre discuss this ruling and its implications. The CCI order can be found here: (https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/09-of-2020.pdf)
  • All Things Policy: Why Great Powers Procrastinate (9/28/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Why did the United States aid and abet China’s rise instead of “strangling the baby in the cradle”? Manoj Kewalramani, Pranay Kotasthane, and Aditya Ramanathan discuss the arguments of political scientist David Edelstein, who offers fascinating explanations for why rivals cooperate. You’ll find a pithy explanation of David Edelstein’s framework on Pranay’s newsletter: https://publicpolicy.substack.com/p/70-concentrated-costs-diffused-benefits You […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #72: Should Courts Make Social Policies? (9/27/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • Heed Napoleon’s words as China fancies its odds of taking Taiwan (9/27/2020) by Nitin Pai - The ongoing confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops along the Himalayan frontiers is serious, but pales in comparison with the situation across the Taiwan Strait. Over the weekend of 18-19 September, China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Navy (PLAN) flew 37 aircraft—including fighters and bombers—across the centre line that has served as the […]
  • Eye on China: LAC Talks – Xinjiang & Tibet – Xi at UN – Nepal Border – Tech Plan – Uneven Recovery (9/27/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. Xi’s UN Speeches There were two speeches related to the UN that Xi Jinping delivered this week. First, he spoke commemorating the 75th anniversary of the UN and then at the UNGA. First, […]
  • Don’t ask the SC for loan waiver (9/26/2020) by Ajit Ranade - If you have borrowed money as a home or business loan, you are bound by contract to repay that loan. Repayment is over a period of time, so you also pay the time value of money, i.e. interest. Due to the lockdown, the GDP for three months of April to June was down 24 per cent. For […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 20 (9/26/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 20 is reproduced below. Of Farmers, CBI, Love and other drugs Farmers and CBI Unfolding Note: This section contains a lot of images. So if you have image rendering blocked in your mail client (I do!), then I would recommend clicking through and viewing it in […]
  • The PLA Insight: Issue no 71: The Sino-Indian Border Meeting; Taiwan and the PLA; Chinese Nuclear Missile Guidance Systems; 6th Military Intelligent Technology and Equipment Expo (9/25/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Meeting The top military and diplomatic officers met on Monday this week, almost two weeks after the two foreign ministers reached an agreement in Moscow to continue the dialogue and ease tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The meeting, which was held at Moldo – Chinese side near Chushul, […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Sea War Against Germany and Japan (9/25/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - From 1939 to 1945, the Royal Indian Navy fought on the high seas in the greatest conflict in human history. In this episode, Commodore Odakkal Johnson, director of the Maritime History Society joins Aditya Ramanathan and Aditya Pareek to talk about the Royal Indian Navy’s exploits and its legacy. Commodore Odakkal Johnson’s Book: (https://amzn.to/3kO59sD)
  • All Things Policy: Reforming the Information Technology Act (9/24/2020) by Rohan Seth - The Internet in India is governed by the IT Act. But the powers this law gives the state need to be balanced with due process and adequate safeguards. Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre are joined by Gopal Jain, a Supreme Court advocate and advisor to the Esya Centre to talk about reforming the IT Act […]
  • Why we need to rethink how we disagree online (9/24/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This article originally appeared in the Deccan Herald. An excerpt is reproduced here. Intentions as well as consequences are important in the information ecosystem. In July, an anonymous Twitter handle that purportedly offers ‘unpopular unapologetic truths’ distastefully advised its male followers to “only marry virgins”. A quick Twitter search suggests that this wasn’t the first […]
  • All Things Policy: Military Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future (9/23/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Recent Pentagon reports indicate that China is quickly leveling the scales against the US by building up its military. New frontiers in military technology are constantly being pushed, from hypersonic missiles to satellite-based systems. Aditya Ramanathan and Anirudh Kanisetti take a step back to understand the phenomenon of military revolutions and how they’ve shaped global […]
  • GST compensation delay put onus on states to mobilise funds from their own sources better. Here’s what they can do (9/22/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - At the end of a recently held Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting, the finance minister signalled the Union government’s inability to pay compensation to the states, describing the revenue shortfall as an ‘Act of God’ caused by the pandemic. The Union abdicating its responsibility and leaving the states on its own is problematic on many […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – BRI in the Post-COVID World: Risks and Responses (9/22/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Download the Discussion Document in PDF This document provides an assessment of China’s changing approach towards the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s impact on China’s and the world economy along with the intensification of geopolitical tensions between China and the US have amplified certain pre-existing risks while also creating […]
  • All Things Policy: Serosurveys and the True Picture of the Pandemic in India (9/22/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - India’s national and state/city level serosurveys have come up with concerning results. The disparity between the estimated number of cases based on seroprevalence and the actual number of cases reported is, in some cases, nearly 500 to 600 times off the mark, with serious implications on our knowledge of how the pandemic is spreading and […]
  • All Things Policy: Inside China’s National Security State (9/21/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Ever since Xi Jinping assumed power in China in late 2012, concerns about domestic stability, external challenges, and the resilience of Party rule have led to the building of a national security state. How has the Chinese constructed this apparatus? What role do the anti-corruption and rectification campaigns play? Aditya Ramanathan speaks to Suyash Desai […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #70: Concentrated Costs, Diffused Benefits (9/20/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • Book Review: Nine Dash Line: Deciphering the South China Sea Conundrum (9/20/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Pooja Bhatt’s latest book Nine Dash Line: Deciphering the South China Sea Conundrum was reviewed by Manoj Kewalramani for the The Book Review Literary Trust. The review can be accessed here.
  • Eye on China: A Long Winter – Pvt Sector UFD – Wobbly Recovery – Taiwan – EU Summit – Maldives Debt (9/20/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties It’s increasingly clear that the India-China standoff in Eastern Ladakh is now going to continue for the long haul, unless of course, things get worse before winter sets in. Reuters reports that the […]
  • Tech-tonic | Does Lakshman have a right to know? (9/20/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Views are personal. Earlier this week, I decided to scratch an itch that had been bothering me for a while. I took out some time in my calendar after work, dimmed the lights in my room, opened Netflix and started playing Main Hoon Na. I was halfway […]
  • Tech This Week | With ARM in kitty, Nvidia most impressive firm you never heard of (9/20/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. Listening to Pivot podcast earlier this week, I came across this quote from Professor Scott Galloway, “Nvidia is the most impressive company you have never heard of”. Up until last week, I would have argued that you could make a stronger case for this […]
  • The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute; Congressional Hearings; The South China Sea; China-Taiwan Relations; Aircraft Carriers; UNPKOs (9/20/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute Multiple things have happened along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between China and India since the newsletter was last published two weeks back. This issue highlights the events between the two countries since August 31. 1. India’s first reported offensive in the current stand-off The India armed […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Migrant Workers in Indian Cities (9/19/2020) by Guest Editor - Download the Discussion Document in PDF By Ananya Rao This discussion document examines the assimilation of inter-state migrants in India into their host societies and the factors that facilitate and impede this process. While migrant workers face exclusion in urban centres due to a lack of access to basic services and social security and welfare […]
  • Why farmers are upset about reforms (9/19/2020) by Ajit Ranade - Three months ago when Parliament was not in session, the Government of India issued three ordinances. Normally ordinances are issued only as an emergency law, and they have to be converted into proper legislation as soon as Parliament reconvenes. These three ordinances were about agriculture and farming. All three were in the spirit of ‘reforms’, […]
  • All Things Policy: Whose History is it Anyway? (9/18/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Do statues, monuments and buildings represent history? Or just the preoccupations of those that erected them? Should statues of problematic figures be taken down? Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan join Manoj Kewalramani to debate the vexed questions around the commemoration of the history and the modern politics of statues.
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 19 (9/18/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 19 is reproduced below. The State of Information Disorder Responses Ok, let’s dive in. I’ve been spending some time trying to understand how various countries (~30) around the world are responding to information disorder online. Specifically Where they perceive the threat comes from? – What legislative […]
  • All Things Policy: The Wicked Problem of Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour (9/17/2020) by Prateek Waghre - CIB or Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour is a precise-sounding term that remains imprecise. As the recent Buzzfeed exposé on Facebook highlights, platform action against such activities is often subjective and haphazard. How are narratives manipulated on platforms? How can platforms address this? What could be the consequences? Manoj Kewalramani discusses with Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre. […]
  • All Things Policy: Why Neglecting Opportunity Costs Leads to Bad Policy (9/16/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative that is foregone when exercising a particular option. Any good public policy needs to take this into account, to avoid an inefficient allocation of scarce resources. Pranay Kotasthane and Sarthak Pradhan discuss the concept of opportunity cost neglect and its public policy implications across sectors. […]
  • All Things Policy: How Can We Vaccinate India? (9/15/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Once a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 is available, who should get inoculated first? And how will India vaccinate at least 800 million of its citizens? Shambhavi Naik and Ameya Paleja discuss their new vaccine strategy with Anirudh Kanisetti.
  • China is an enemy of freedom of thought. It wants the same from other powerful nations (9/15/2020) by Nitin Pai - There is now an abundance of analysis and commentary around the world on how countries should respond to challenges posed by China. East Asian countries are concerned about China’s aggressive military moves in the South China Sea, across the Taiwan Straits and the Sea of Japan. India is concerned about Chinese moves along the Himalayan border, across […]
  • Burden of Bad Loans (9/15/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The economy shrank by nearly one-fourth during the first three months of this fiscal year. Much of this was due to the harsh lockdown initiated in March. Roughly three-fourths of the economy was practically shut for a month, after which there were a series of renewed lockdowns with partial relaxations. For this quarter, the economy […]
  • All Things Policy: Making Sense of the LAC Standoff (9/14/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Is the joint statement between India and China on 10th September a sign that the two sides are finding a way to end their standoff on the LAC? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to analyse the ground situation, the diplomatic maneuvers, and the prospects for defusing the ongoing crisis.
  • Eye on China: The 5-Point Plan – New Pak Amb – Covid Victory Lap – Xi on Technology – UN Position Paper – Aussie Journalists’ Saga – Data Security (9/13/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. Firing & Five-point Plan It’s been a week of back and forth in the India-China relationship. The week began with a series of alarming events. China’s Western Theatre Command spokesperson Zhang Shuili said (Mandarin statement) […]
  • Pakistan’s Sub-Conventional Warfare and India’s Options (9/13/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - Pranay was on The BridgeProject podcast to talk about Pakistan’s strategy of sub-conventional warfare and India’s likely response options. Listen to the full episode here:
  • Anticipating the Unintended #68: A ‘Sin’ Called Consumption (9/13/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - India Policy Watch #1: Consumption And The Fable Of Bees Insights on burning policy issues in India — RSJ ‘The pandemic has shown us what is truly important in our lives.’ ‘We learnt to go slow and consume only that we need during the lockdown. That’s one lesson we should follow beyond the pandemic.’ ‘The earth […]
  • It is time India gave its policy on Tibet some strategic coherence (9/13/2020) by Nitin Pai - In a development that attracted relatively little international attention, Xi Jinping unveiled the Communist Party of China’s (CPC’s) new policy towards Tibet at a conclave in late August. As my colleague Manoj Kewalramani explained in the Hindustan Times last week, Xi’s new strategy “entails a mix of persuasion, development, connectivity, indoctrination and coercion”. Beijing intends […]
  • Tech This Week | Regulating online pharmacies must be an inclusive exercise (9/13/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. The most exciting aspect of looking at tech policy is the sheer amount of sectors it intersects with. Given the nature of the pandemic, more of our world has moved online than ever before, and will continue to do so in the coming months. […]
  • Weekly vouchers will boost demand (9/12/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The economy is in a deep hole, having contracted by one-fourth in the first three months of the lockdown. Hopefully the speed of contraction is slowing, but we will be lucky to see positive growth of the economy before December. So what is to be done? Everyone is crying hoarse for a fiscal stimulus. There […]
  • Why India should buy more Diesel Electric Submarines (9/11/2020) by Aditya Pareek - India is on a trajectory to induct a significant number of both nuclear-propelled and nuclear-armed submarines in the coming years. However, the mainstay of its sub-surface fleet remains conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines. With eight Russian-origin Sindhughosh(Kilo) class vessels making up the most potent portion of its submarine fleet, it makes sense for India to choose […]
  • All Things Policy: When Japan Tried to Invade China (9/11/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - The Imjin War of the late sixteenth century changed the fates of Japan, Korea, and China. But what was it all about? And why does it have such a powerful grip on modern imaginations? Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Pareek join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss what modern scholarship tells us about this pivotal conflict.
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 18 (9/11/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 18 is reproduced below. Of Freeing the Republic, Social Disasters, Polarisation and QAnfluencers Free The Republic? It turns out that the Maharashtra Police arrested 3 people, 2 of whom happened to be journalists with Republic TV. For all my ranting about Twitter trends, buried in work, I only […]
  • All Things Policy: Should the State Set Rules for Content Moderation? (9/10/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Reports suggest that India is looking to formulate guidelines for consistent content moderation across social media platforms. What triggered this development? Is it better than the status quo? Will uniform rules lead to content cartels? Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre join Sowmya Nanadan to discuss.
  • All Things Policy: How to Increase India’s State Capacity (9/9/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - As India struggles with the COVID19 pandemic, questions about the capacity of the state have come to the forefront. What are the factors which influence state capacity? What can we do to bolster it? Policy wonks Shruthi Badri and Rachit Seth talk to Sarthak Pradhan on the current scenario and possible solutions to improve it.
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – A COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy for India (9/8/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF by Shambhavi Naik, Ameya Paleja, Mihir Mahajan, Narayan Ramachandran, Sunila Dixit, Rahul Matthan, Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane India should aim to vaccinate 80% of the population by 31st December 2021. There are 4 steps in vaccine deployment: estimate demand, secure vaccine supply, choose delivery channels and conduct post-market […]
  • All Things Policy: Should the Government Collect Health Data? (9/8/2020) by Prateek Waghre - The new National Health Data Management Policy creates a framework for collecting citizens’ medical data. Sunila Dixit, Shambhavi Naik, and Prateek Waghre discuss the provisions of this policy, and what it means for health and privacy.
  • Vaccinating Indians against Covid? We should be talking days, not years (9/8/2020) by Nitin Pai - As the Narendra Modi government’s National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration deliberates on a vaccination strategy against Covid-19, the single biggest thing it should be wary of is status quo-ism packaged as pragmatism. One thing India is not short of are people who can tell you why something cannot be done. We are now being told that […]
  • Xi’s new approach to Tibet will affect India (9/7/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent remarks at the seventh Central Symposium on Tibet Work indicate that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is doubling down on its hardline approach in the region, which evolved gradually after the 2008 protests. The strategy for the next few years that Xi outlined entails a mix of persuasion, development, connectivity, […]
  • All Things Policy: China Military Report (9/7/2020) by Suyash Desai - The Pentagon’s 2020 China Military Power report emphasizes the advances made by the Chinese armed forces towards achieving “world-class” force status. Manoj Kewalramani speaks to Suyash Desai to get a breakdown of the key aspects covered in the report.
  • Eye on China: LAC Tensions – Political Education – Never Allows – Inner Mongolia – Failing In Europe (9/6/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. Fresh LAC Tensions This week saw a shift in the situation at the India-China border, with a series of events playing out between August 29 and 31. Let’s first unpack what happened on […]
  • Tech This Week | Should India have its own social media content moderation rules? (9/6/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. Earlier this week, Economic Times (ET) broke the story that top officials had begun preliminary discussions on whether India should have its own guidelines on content moderation. What always strikes me when I read news around this subject is that consensus around platform moderation […]
  • Evolving India’s Military Strategy (9/6/2020) by Prakash Menon - The ongoing situation on the Sino-Indian border offers a unique opportunity for the military leadership. They could impel the political leadership to facilitate the formulation of a military strategy despite the lack of an overarching National Security Strategy. Militarily, let there now be no doubt that countering China should be the primary focus of our […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #66: An Alphabet Soup of Economic Recoveries (9/5/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 17 (9/5/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 17 is reproduced below. Of Bricks in the firewall, UnTrend, I C BATMAN and the Information Disorder World Cup. Hate is Trending, Trends are Not Hey Prateek – you spoke about hate just last week! Well, sorry, I did tell you it was unlimited, didn’t I? […]
  • The PLA Insight: DOD 2020 China Military Power Report Breakdown and The Sino-Indian Escalation (9/5/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. DOD’s China Military Power Report Breakdown The Pentagon’s 2020 China Military Power report is possibly the longest since the inception of the annual report series in 2000. As Chad Sbragia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China in the Indo-Pacific Division claimed, “The report has taken on particular importance as the DOD continues to address the strategic […]
  • The mental health cost of Covid-19 (9/5/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The GDP numbers are out. These refer to the three months from April to June, which were mostly about a harsh  lockdown. More than three-fourths of the economy was shut down at least for a month, and hence output, income, jobs were lost. The contraction in India’s GDP was the most acute among the top […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – Supplementing State Policing Capacity for COVID-19 Duties (9/3/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Download the advisory in PDF by PM Heblikar, Aditya Ramanathan, Pranay Kotasthane Proposal Supplement existing police manpower resources by inducting state government employees who are involved in preventive, regulative, investigative, and implementation work. The objective is to enable the police department to carry out its primary functions effectively and remain at the forefront of COVID-19 […]
  • All Things Policy: How Can India be More Disabled Friendly? (9/3/2020) by Sunila Dixit - The United Nations has released its first-ever guidelines on making justice systems more accessible to people with disabilities. India has the Right to Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, but its implementation is patchy. Sowmya Nandan talks to Sunila Dixit about the UN guidelines and how they contrast with the realities that the disabled face in […]
  • All Things Policy: How the Pandemic Has Affected Indian Women (9/2/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - As the Indian economy struggles with the aftermath of lockdowns and preexisting problems, COVID-19 has now spread across the length and breadth of the country. One of the most serious consequences of the pandemic is the way it has impacted women: India already had one of the world’s lowest female labour force participation rates, which […]
  • Drilling Into Indian Twitter’s Interest in Sweden’s Violent Riots (9/2/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This article appeared in TheWire. Over last weekend, hashtags such as SwedenRiots, NorwayRiots and WeAreWithSweden were trending on Twitter in India. This may have seemed surprising, but if anyone spent a few minutes looking at the content that was being shared, it became painfully obvious why this was happening. A cursory Twitter search showed that many accounts which typically share […]
  • All Things Policy: Can Our Public Spaces Return to Normalcy? (9/1/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The pandemic has transformed attitudes towards public spaces like schools, movie theatres, and offices. When can these return to normalcy? And how? Rohan Seth talks to Shambhavi Naik to better understand the state of play and is later joined by Yatin K Thakur from the Indian Workspace Association to understand the impact the pandemic has […]
  • Yes, every generation must debate secularism. School textbooks aren’t enough (9/1/2020) by Nitin Pai - Many people were upset last week that NDTV 24×7— even NDTV — decided that secularism ought to be a topic of debate. Amid the prevailing climate of deep political polarisation, prejudice and suspicion, some saw this debate segment, which asked panelists whether “Secularism Is Essential To Democracy”,as a sign that this media house, too, was […]
  • Passing GST Buck (9/1/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The past week has been dominated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remark  alluding to an “act of God”. She was referring to the Covid-19 pandemic which is now seen as the main cause of the unprecedented recession in India and the world. Never mind that the slowing of GDP growth, or investment ratio or the stagnation of […]
  • All Things Policy: Strategic Autonomy: What It Means for India (8/31/2020) by Suyash Desai - As India’s relations with China deteriorate, what sort of ties should it seek with the United States? Lt General Prakash Menon talks to Suyash Desai and Aditya Ramanathan about the way ahead.
  • Anticipating the Unintended #64: The Quest for Narrative Dominance (8/31/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • The US-China tech war is being fought across a bamboo curtain (8/30/2020) by Nitin Pai - It is becoming clear that the ongoing “tech war” between the United States and China is taking place along five fronts: semiconductors, network infrastructure, operating systems, platforms and content. While it was Beijing that first erected a defensive Great Firewall around its internet users over 25 years ago to censor content, it is now Washington […]
  • Eye on China – Xi’s Tibet Plan – SCS Tensions – Wang in Europe – Economic Vision – Rectification – Dhaka Protest – Af-Pak-CPEC – Chips & Vaccine Race (8/30/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties This week India’s MEA shared details about the 18th round of talks under the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs. The MEA said that “both sides have reaffirmed that […]
  • Tech This Week | Amazon and Flipkart make lockdowns effective (8/29/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. One of the most important features of tech policy is the sheer number of disciplines it intersects with. With the pandemic getting worse, in India, we have gone back and forth on locking down areas to stop the spread of the virus. Over the past few weeks, […]
  • Pandemic and exam stress (8/29/2020) by Ajit Ranade - Sometimes it feels as if the Supreme Court is running the country. Otherwise why does everything escalate all the way? The SC’s main job is to examine constitutional issues, but it is often and increasingly embroiled in commercial disputes. For instance, an engineering company in Chennai had registered the trademark ‘Coronil’ back in 1993, as an industrial […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 16 (8/29/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com An excerpt from Edition 16 is reproduced below. Of Amplification Mechanics, Disinformationception, WHO let the bad advice out and Asides Hate Unlimited and Mechanics of Amplification The Negative Positive Loop Many years ago, I read an article that..er…spoke to me. I couldn’t find the link (thanks google algorithm that […]
  • All Things Policy: The Forgotten Heritage of the Deccan (8/28/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - From the 14th to the 17th centuries, the Sultanates of the Deccan embarked on a remarkable experiment in globalisation and regionalisation. This is reflected in their art, politics, and culture, but especially in their language. Independent researcher and journalist Karthik Malli joins Anirudh Kanisetti for a wide-ranging conversation in the vibrant history of the Dakhni […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #63: Dispelling The Many Myths of Our (Mythical) Readers Part #3 (8/27/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a particular […]
  • All Things Policy: WhatsApp Pay Antitrust case (8/25/2020) by Prateek Waghre - In a forty-one page order, The Competition Commission of India (CCI) last week ruled on an antitrust case on WhatsApp’s upcoming payments service. The order raised several crucial points, including the timing of the case and the current landscape of the Indian UPI payments space. Rohan Seth discusses the decision to rule in favour of […]
  • India must treat the oil spill near Mauritius as SoS. Lockdown has left seafarers exhausted (8/25/2020) by Nitin Pai - he Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius is facing one of its most serious crises in its modern history. On 21 July, around a week into its voyage from Singapore to the Brazilian port of Tubarao, the MV Wakashio, a 300-metre long bulk carrier, owned and operated by Japanese companies, deviated from its course and […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #62: Speaking for the Dead (8/24/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • All Things Policy: Does History Shape Foreign Policy? (8/24/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Public discourse often attempts to explain the actions of nation-states through “civilisational worldviews”. China, for example, is believed to have a “Middle Kingdom” approach to foreign policy, while some claim that India’s foreign policy follows in the footsteps of Kautilya’s Arthashastra. But is that really the case? Do nation-states develop foreign policies drawing on the […]
  • Tech This Week | The UPI payments space is in for its biggest shift yet (8/23/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. Around 10 years ago, back when the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) was still prevalent, I remember trying to persuade a friend of mine to get himself a Blackberry phone so that we could chat on BBM. He countered me saying that WhatsApp (emerging at the […]
  • Reining in platforms like Facebook (8/22/2020) by Ajit Ranade - In December 2015 the founder and Chief Executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote passionately in The Times of India why it was important to give free access to internet. He was promoting the idea of ‘Free Basics’ launched by Facebook. It would give free access to basic internet services to all Indians. No charge would […]
  • MisDisMal-Information Edition 15 (8/22/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com. The following is an excerpt from Edition 14. Go here for the complete edition Of Oxygen, Amplification, You Are Under Arrest, Plandemic Returns and You Can’t Stop This. Mask, No Mask and The Oxygen of Amplification I can see what’s happening? What? And we don’t have a clue Who?? We keep doing […]
  • The Sino-Indian Border: Military, Diplomatic and Nuclear Relations; China’s Youth Thousand Talents Plan; PLA RF Theatre Integration; Taiwan; more (8/22/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Dispute: Military-Diplomatic Updates Plus Nuclear Relations There is no major diplomatic or military-diplomatic breakthrough on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India are still engaged in a stand-off on at least three points at the disputed border. The Working Mechanism for Consultation […]
  • All Things Policy: An Extraordinary Life in the British Raj (8/21/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Stuck in the trenches of the Western Front in Europe, a soldier named Mir Mast took a very important decision that sent him on a remarkable journey through the 20th century world. Involving family honour, espionage, and royals from Germany to Afghanistan, his life provides a fascinating insight into colonial India before the rise of […]
  • From a scientist to a science policy analyst — my journey and key learnings (8/20/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - My grandmother bravely fought, but eventually lost her battle with breast cancer. Those childhood memories inspired me to take up a career focused on curing cancer. After spending a decade across 3 laboratories trying to kill cancer cells in petri dishes, I chose to leave academia. I loved every single moment at the lab bench. […]
  • All Things Policy: Restructuring India’s Public Health Sector (8/20/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suffers from a lack of clear division of responsibilities, a platform for inter-sectoral coordination and conflicts of interest. These weaknesses have become more apparent in the light of the pandemic, as the public health response has been anchored in the ICMR, which is primarily a research body. India […]
  • India is good in the Arab world now. But Delhi must quickly move to contain Turkey’s Erdogan (8/20/2020) by Nitin Pai - It came as a surprise but it is not surprising. When the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced that they would establish normal relations with each other, in a US-brokered agreement last week, they publicly accepted what has been obvious for several years now — that the national interests of the Emirates along with those […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Reimagining India’s Public Health Governance System (8/19/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Download the Discussion Document in PDF India needs a new public health system, housed within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to streamline functions, improve transparency in operations, and ensure better health outcomes. This document proposes a governance architecture structured around essential public health functions to ensure there is no conflict of interest/overlapping functions. […]

  • Takshashila Discussion Document – A COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy for India (11/25/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Discussion Document in PDF by Shambhavi Naik, Ameya Paleja, Mihir Mahajan, Narayan Ramachandran, Sunila Dixit, Rahul Matthan, Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Deploying COVID-19 vaccines once they are available is going to be an unprecedented administrative and logistical challenge. This paper proposes a plan to vaccinate 80% of India’s population by December 2021. […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – A Strategy to make India a Biotech Leader by 2025 (11/17/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF The biotechnology and healthcare sectors will underpin India’s effort to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, revive the economy and maintain long-term economic competitiveness. However, key internal challenges including regulatory opacity, supply chain friction, and shortage of quality talent need to be addressed. This document analyses the biotechnology and healthcare sectors […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Analysis of COVID-19 Serosurveys in India (11/6/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Download the Discussion Document in PDF The Union and various state governments have conducted seroprevalence surveys at national and city/state levels to study the spread of COVID-19. We argue The disparity in estimated cases as per seroprevalence studies and actual detected cases is a result of limited testing capacity and flawed testing strategy. City level sero-surveys can […]
  • A COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy for India (11/5/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - This paper first appeared in Indian Public Policy Review 2020, 1(2): 42 – 58 by Shambhavi Naik, Ameya Paleja, Mihir Mahajan, Narayan Ramachandran, Sunila Dixit, Rahul Matthan, Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Abstract Deploying COVID-19 vaccines once they are available is going to be an unprecedented administrative and logistical challenge. This paper proposes a plan to […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – Submarine Cables: A Maritime National Security Perspective for India (10/21/2020) by Aditya Pareek - Executive Summary: India’s economic recovery and national security in a post COVID-19 world heavily depends on its digital connectivity to the rest of the world. Submarine cables are crucial to ensuring this connectivity. We recommend that India safeguard its submarine cables through: Deployment of an all-encompassing Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). An increase in sortie rates […]
  • The Primacy of Sea Power in Managing China’s Push for Hegemony in the Indo-Pacific (10/17/2020) by Nitin Pai - Authors: Suyash Desai and Nitin Pai Keywords: Sino-Indian Dispute, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Indian Navy, PLAN, Partnerships, Sea Denial Abstract: The paper posits that sea power affords India the best way of managing Chinese power in the Indo-Pacific region. While border defences and use of land and air power along the Himalayan land frontiers is essential […]
  • Takshashila Working Paper — Constraining the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex In a Post-COVID World (10/5/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - by Pranay Kotasthane This is a draft of a paper published in Scholar Warrior (ISSN: 2319-7331, Autumn 2020), a Centre for Land and Warfare Studies Publication. Download the paper This paper surveys four major developments that impact the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex (MJC) in the recent months — change in MJC’s external benefactors, the US-Taliban Peace […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Ethical Guidelines for Clinical Trials and Research in India (10/1/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Download the Discussion Document in PDF This discussion document proposes a modified set of 8 ethical principles and a guidance questionnaire that researchers and ethics committees can refer to, to ensure that the research is within the ethical boundaries. ICMR’s ethical guidelines of 2017 need to be revised, with more focus on the fundamental ethical […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – BRI in the Post-COVID World: Risks and Responses (9/22/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Download the Discussion Document in PDF This document provides an assessment of China’s changing approach towards the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s impact on China’s and the world economy along with the intensification of geopolitical tensions between China and the US have amplified certain pre-existing risks while also creating […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Migrant Workers in Indian Cities (9/19/2020) by Guest Editor - Download the Discussion Document in PDF By Ananya Rao This discussion document examines the assimilation of inter-state migrants in India into their host societies and the factors that facilitate and impede this process. While migrant workers face exclusion in urban centres due to a lack of access to basic services and social security and welfare […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – A COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Strategy for India (9/8/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF by Shambhavi Naik, Ameya Paleja, Mihir Mahajan, Narayan Ramachandran, Sunila Dixit, Rahul Matthan, Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane India should aim to vaccinate 80% of the population by 31st December 2021. There are 4 steps in vaccine deployment: estimate demand, secure vaccine supply, choose delivery channels and conduct post-market […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – Supplementing State Policing Capacity for COVID-19 Duties (9/3/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Download the advisory in PDF by PM Heblikar, Aditya Ramanathan, Pranay Kotasthane Proposal Supplement existing police manpower resources by inducting state government employees who are involved in preventive, regulative, investigative, and implementation work. The objective is to enable the police department to carry out its primary functions effectively and remain at the forefront of COVID-19 […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Reimagining India’s Public Health Governance System (8/19/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Download the Discussion Document in PDF India needs a new public health system, housed within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to streamline functions, improve transparency in operations, and ensure better health outcomes. This document proposes a governance architecture structured around essential public health functions to ensure there is no conflict of interest/overlapping functions. […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – A Military Resource Allocation Framework (7/31/2020) by Prakash Menon - Download the Discussion Document in PDF This discussion document proposes a Military Resource Allocation Framework 1.0 (M-RAF 1.0) for the Indian Military. The M-RAF (1.0) is a derivative of the Proposed Theatre Command Model that could serve as a decision support tool for military resource allocation planning and can be adapted to any number of […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: The Doklam Imbroglio (July 2020 Update) (7/16/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Executive Summary In 2017, the Doklam plateau became a flashpoint for the Asian powers, India and China. China’s tactics in Doklam are clear examples of its general “salami-slicing” strategy, a policy of gradual encroachment onto disputed territory where other claimants are forced to accede to a new status quo tilted in China’s favour. This Discussion […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document- Analysing Digital Platforms’ Responses to COVID-19 Information Disorder (6/26/2020) by Prateek Waghre - By Prateek Waghre and Rohan Seth Download the Discussion Document in PDF. Executive Summary This Discussion Document analyses the responses of digital platforms to the information disorders around COVID-19: During the pandemic, digital platforms may be able to exercise greater discretion in content moderation from increased calls for them to act as arbiters of truth. […]
  • Responding to the Standoff on the LAC in Ladakh (6/19/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - By The Takshashila Geostrategy Team This graphical representation looks at India’s options for responding its standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with the People’s Republic of China. Since China has seized territory, it only needs to hold on to what it has gained to maintain the new status quo. On the […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – COVID-19: Lessons from the US in the Second World War (6/18/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - By Sarthak Pradhan, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Pranav R. Satyanath Download the Discussion Document in PDF This document studies the rapid expansion of industrial capacity in the US during the Second World War to derive lessons for India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It provides insights on ramping up manufacturing capacity for goods required […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc – National Security Preparedness & Planning for COVID-19 (6/16/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF There are four major risks in the ongoing pandemic: the spread of infection, police and armed forces being stretched thin, opportunistic actions by insurgents, criminals, and other States, and finally, collapse of State capacity in India’s extended neighbourhood. These challenges are likely to persist over the 36 months until […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – India’s Theatre Command System: A Proposal (6/12/2020) by Prakash Menon - Download the Discussion Document in PDF This discussion document proposes the structural framework for India’s Theatre Command system with terrain and strategic threats being prime factors. Larger theatre structures facilitate flexible cooperation in greater quantities of military power and concurrent with inter-service integration would cater for centralised joint planning and decentralised application of military power. […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – A Policy Guide to Pooled Testing (6/9/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - By Shambhavi Naik Download the Policy Advisory in PDF Executive Summary: Pooled testing is a valuable tool in the routine surveillance of diseases. However, it is not a substitute for conventional diagnostic testing. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) advisory on pooled testing suggests using pooled testing approach in areas of low prevalence of […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – COVID-19: Reopening Schools in India (6/9/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - By Shambhavi Naik and Nitin Pai Executive Summary: As part of the response to COVID-19 in India, various state governments had closed all schools by mid-March. Maintaining social distancing and hygiene is difficult in schools and hence, schools can easily become a hotspot for the spread of the virus. Further, since this is a novel […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: India, COVID-19, and West Asia (6/9/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Download the Strategic Assessment as a PDF. Executive Summary The novel coronavirus has introduced new and highly unpredictable social and political dynamics into West Asia. We argue that: India’s key challenges are securing the return of out-of-work expatriates, protecting those still working in the region and preparing for a reduction in remittance income. India’s key […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc: China’s Maritime Coercion Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (6/3/2020) by Suyash Desai - Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF Executive Summary This document assesses the recent escalation of coercive activities by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the South China Sea (SCS) amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are six explanations for PRC’s recent escalation of coercive behaviour Opportunistic escalation amid pandemic distraction Coercing regional […]
  • Recommended Draft Space Activities (Regulation) Bill, 2020 (5/21/2020) by Rahul Matthan - Download the recommended draft bill in PDF. Takshashila’s ‘The New Space Policy 2020‘ proposes a clear policy and regulatory structure that paves the way for growth of the nascent private space sector in India, thus contributing towards national development and advancing the frontiers of science and technology. The recommended Draft Space Activities (Regulation) Bill, 2020 […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – COVID-19: Healthcare Measures to Tackle a Second Wave in India (5/18/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Executive Summary Countries worldwide are bracing for a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the coming months. A second wave is a resurgence in infections after the existing cases appear to be reducing. This document proposes a series of measures for India to prepare for possible future waves of the infection. These infections will take […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc: Increasing COVID-19 Testing Capacity in India (5/15/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - By Shambhavi Naik Executive Summary: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic rests on the ability to test for infected patients quickly and at scale. Exhaustive testing underpins effective containment strategies, helps estimate healthcare requirements and decreases the toll on delivery of essential services exerted by complete lockdowns. However, India’s current testing capacity is of 100,000 […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc: India in the Post COVID-19 World Order (5/7/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - By Pranay Kotasthane, Akshay Alladi, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Anupam Manur Executive Summary COVID-19 is likely to accelerate the competition and confrontation between the US and China, and simultaneously reduce the global authority of both by eroding their absolute power and legitimacy. The relative power scale can tilt in either direction. India and other middle powers […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: Impact of COVID-19 on the Chinese Armed Forces (4/30/2020) by Suyash Desai - Download the Strategic Assessment document as a pdf Executive Summary This assessment examines the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). We argue that: Claims of zero COVID-19 infections in the PLA do not stand up to scrutiny. The outbreak has had a limited, short-term impact on China’s defence industry and […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – China’s Foreign Policy in the Post-Covid World Order: An Assessment (4/29/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Download the Discussion Document in PDF Key Ideas: Regime survival and stability are likely to remain as primary objectives of China’s international engagement. Prolonged economic slowdown, the threat of increased protectionism, and deepening frictions with the US will impinge on this objective. Sino-US ties are likely to continue to deteriorate Middle powers like India, France, […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – Covid-19: Towards a National Reopening Strategy for India (4/18/2020) by Takshashila Working Group - Download the Policy Advisory as a PDF. Executive Summary This document proposes “calibrated reopenings” as a means of restoring economic activities in India under the shadow of a Covid-19 outbreak. We suggest continuous ongoing testing in order to gauge the extent of an outbreak in a district. This can then be used to dynamically classify […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: Networked Protests & State Responses: The Case of Hong Kong 2019-20 (4/14/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Download the Discussion Document in PDF. Executive Summary Digital technologies and Internet connectivity are enabling rapid mobilisation of large groups of individuals around a common cause. The defining feature of such a Radically Networked Society (RNS) is the scale and pace of its operations. Consequently, RNS movements pose a serious challenge for the hierarchically ordered […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: India and the Saudi-Russia Oil Price War (4/9/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Download the full Strategic Assessment as a PDF. Executive Summary Global oil prices have fallen by about half since early March 2020. On one hand, the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the world, and on the other, the world is awash in oil because of the Saudi-Russia dispute over production cuts. This stand-off on oil […]
  • Modi govt needs to open the JAM for public contributions. PM Care alone can’t deliver (3/31/2020) by Nitin Pai - If containing the coronavirus outbreak is the primary national policy prerogative at this time, a close second is the task of providing relief to those who have been hardest hit by the lockdown. With advances in financial inclusion, reliable identification and mass mobile internet, the so-called JAM or Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile trinity, Indian society […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: The Economics and Politics of Pakistan’s COVID-19 Response (3/28/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - By Sarthak Pradhan, Sakshi Arora, and Pranay Kotasthane Download the full Strategic Assessment in PDF Executive Summary As of March 27th, Pakistan had the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the subcontinent. This outbreak is likely to slow down Pakistan’s economy and increase its dependence on China in the short-term. Domestically, this has the potential […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: A Framework for Enabling Predictive Genomics to Improve Public Health in India (3/19/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - By Shambhavi Naik and Pavan Srinath Download the Discussion Document in PDF. Heritable genetic diseases, particularly rare diseases, contribute to a significant disease burden in India. In India’s urban areas, congenital malformations and genetic disorders are the third most common cause of mortality in newborns. Rare diseases by themselves are expected to afflict 70-96 million […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: An Indian Approach Towards Strategic Petroleum Reserves (3/17/2020) by Anupam Manur - By Anupam Manur, Rohan Seth, and Narayan Ramachandran Download the Discussion Document in PDF Energy security is a strategic imperative for India, given its strong growth aspirations. As the country does not have self-sustaining oil production, it is almost entirely dependent on imports for its energy requirements. In such a scenario, having an insurance policy, […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Slidedoc– Securing China: An Assessment of Xi’s Military Reforms (3/9/2020) by Suyash Desai - Download the Discussion Slidedoc in PDF Executive Summary China’s President Xi Jinping announced landmark military reforms in late 2015. The reforms aim to convert the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a world-class force by 2050, that can achieve China’s national security objectives. This document identifies seven broad areas of the PLA reforms and assesses their […]
  • Takshashila Blue Paper: Governing Tech Platforms in India (2/7/2020) by Prateek Waghre - The Takshashila Institution hosted a roundtable on 24 January 2020 to discuss policy solutions to some of the unique issues in platform marketplaces. Finding the balance between mitigating the harm caused by platforms while ensuring that these businesses continue to provide an enormous amount of social surplus is of paramount importance. This Blue Paper collates […]
  • Takshashila Policy Proposal: The New Space Policy 2020 (1/28/2020) by Utkarsh Narain - Download the proposal in PDF. Executive Summary The New Space Policy 2020 proposes a clear policy and regulatory structure that paves the way for growth of the nascent private space sector in India, thus contributing towards national development and advancing the frontiers of science and technology. Specifically, this paper recommends: Decoupling the policy, regulatory, and […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: PRC’s Influence on Taiwan’s Polity: Instruments & Efficacy (1/8/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Download the Strategic Assessment in PDF Executive Summary Chinese President Xi Jinping has termed the “reunification” of Taiwan with the PRC as “a historic task” that is vital to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. For the Communist Party of China, this is a core interest, underscored by the One-China Principle, that goes to the […]
  • Takshashila Review Paper: Space Power and Space Warfare (12/11/2019) by Pranav RS - Download the paper in PDF Executive Summary The modern space age is characterised by low cost access to space. One consequence of this development is increased competition in the military sphere. This review paper examines the current literature on space power and space warfare to explain why technology in both the civilian and military domain […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Modi-Xi Informal Summit: An Indian Interests Agenda (10/7/2019) by Manoj Kewalramani - Download the Discussion Document in PDF Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping for an informal summit in the coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu in October 2019. The summit is a timely opportunity to address some of the stressors that are fraying the fabric of the Wuhan spirit […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – A Human Capital Investment Model for India’s National Security System (9/24/2019) by Prakash Menon - Download the Discussion Document in PDF India’s burgeoning defence pensions expenditure is unsustainable and begs immediate action. Starting with the Kargil Review Committee, many solutions have been mooted over the last two decades to address this problem but none of them have fructified. Meanwhile, the expenditure has ballooned after the implementation of the One Rank […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory – Comments on the National Guidelines for Gene Therapy Product Development and Clinical Trials (9/24/2019) by Shambhavi Naik - Download the Advisory in PDF This policy advisory contains recommendations and comments in response to the draft National Guidelines for Gene Therapy Product Development and Clinical Trials released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in consultation with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Central Drug Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) in July 2019. We […]
  • Putting India on the road to becoming an AI superpower (9/15/2019) by Guest Editor - The Indian government has made no secret of its interest in harnessing the power of AI. Over recent years, NITI Aayog has come up with a National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion designated an AI task force which came up with its own report, the interim budget earlier this […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document – Jammu & Kashmir: The Way Forward (8/14/2019) by Guest Editor - By the Takshashila Geostrategy Programme Download the Slidedoc in PDF ​Post Article 370 scenario: A worsened security situation in Jammu and Kashmir abetted by Pakistan, exacerbated by the absence of legitimate political channels, a weak economic infrastructure, and an inadequate administrative capacity. Further, this situation is unlikely to change for the better over the next two […]
  • Explaining the Takshashila National Security Doctrine (8/1/2019) by Editor - Download the doctrine here. In the 21st century, India faces challenges of unprecedented scale and complexity that necessitate new ways of thinking about national security. We propose that yogakshema, an idea pioneered in the Arthashastra , should be the guiding light of India’s national security doctrine. Simply put, the State must provide security, kshema, and […]
  • Takshashila Research Publication: Shaping the Military Instrument (7/26/2019) by Prakash Menon - By Lt Gen (Dr) Prakash Menon An edited version of this essay appeared first in the India Foundation Journal Vol. VII Issue No. 4, July-August, 2019 Download the Essay in PDF Unity in diversity provides utmost strength for India’s national developmental process. But diversity also begets divergent perspectives that shelter narrow interests and are naturally […]
  • A National Security Doctrine For India (6/3/2019) by Editor - Download the doctrine here Yogakshema बलं शक्ति: | सुखं सिद्धि:| Strength is power. And well-being is the goal. (Arthashastra, 6:2-31,32) To create and defend a conducive environment for yogakshema (well-being, prosperity, and happiness) of all Indians. At this stage of India’s development, national security is primarily focused on protecting and promoting India’s economic development. a. As […]
  • The Kra Canal: What Does It Mean For India? (4/9/2019) by Manoj Kewalramani - By Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Kunaal Kini Download the study in PDF A canal along the Isthmus of Kra could alter the strategic calculus for states across Southeast Asia, with China expected to benefit the most. In light of recent discussions around building the canal with the help of Chinese investors, this study examines […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Slidedoc – A Framework to Counter Mobilised Violence (3/19/2019) by Ajay Patri - ​Madhav Chandavarkar, Ajay Patri, and Divij Joshi Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: India’s External Intelligence Agency: Managing the Human Resources Challenge (1/17/2019) by Anand Arni - Executive Summary In India, reform advocacy for the Intelligence community has largely been focused around parliamentary scrutiny over the intelligence agencies and removal of defunct ones. These suggested reforms, however, tend to overlook what is at the core of intelligence – people.  The success of intelligence operation is defined by the capability of officers conducting […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory: A Data Protection Framework for India (12/31/2018) by Manasa Venkataraman - The Justice Srikrishna Committee (formally called the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B N Srikrishna) is tasked with framing a robust data protection law for India. In November, 2017, the Committee released the White Paper – exploring the contours of data protection legislation across the world, and called upon stakeholders to comment […]
  • Takshashila Working Paper: The Regressive Nature of Central Transfers for Health (12/19/2018) by Pranay Kotasthane - By Pranay Kotasthane, Devika Kher, Pavan Srinath, and Aashish Chajjer Download the paper in PDF Financing public health in India is a vital challenge. As a response, the Union government transfers funds to the lower tiers of government, specifically meant to improve the public health services. The stated goal of specific transfers is to ensure […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: A Framework for Countering Mobilised Violence (12/4/2018) by Madhav Chandavarkar - Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to property. In this report, ‘mobilised violence’ is defined as an act or series of acts of violence committed by a group with the intent of furthering a political purpose.
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory: Comments to the Draft Personal Data Protection Bill (10/12/2018) by Ajay Patri - By Ajay Patri and Manasa Venkataraman Executive Summary This document contains recommendations and comments in response to the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 (Bill) released by the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B. N. Srikrishna (Justice Srikrishna Committee) in July 2018. At the outset, we welcome the release of the Bill […]
  • Takshashila Working Paper: China’s Quest For AI Leadership: Prospects and Challenges (10/1/2018) by Manoj Kewalramani - By Manoj Kewalramani Download the paper in PDF Executive Summary In 2017, the Chinese government unveiled a plan to develop the country into the world’s primary innovation centre for artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. In doing so, it identified AI as a strategic industry, crucial for enhancing economic development, national security and governance. This report […]
  • Takshashila Blue Paper: Justice Srikrishna Committee Documents on Data Protection (8/29/2018) by Ajay Patri - By Manasa Venkataraman and Ajay Patri The Takshashila Institution convened a Roundtable on 10 August 2018 to discuss issues arising from the documents released by the Justice Srikrishna Committee on 27 July 2018. These documents included the report titled A Free and Fair Digital Economy: Protecting Privacy, Empowering Indians and the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, […]
  • Takshashila Review Paper: Regulating Multi-Sided Platforms – Challenges in the Indian Context (8/1/2018) by Anupam Manur - By Anupam Manur Download the paper in PDF [620 KB] Executive Summary Multi-sided platforms possess unique characteristics that differentiate them from a normal market structure. The presence of direct and indirect network effects, high switching costs, price parity clauses, vertical integration, and differentiated pricing structures between the two sides of the platform are unique to […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Document: Deriving India’s Strategies for a New World Order (7/9/2018) by Anirudh Kanisetti - By Anirudh Kanisetti, Anupam Manur, and Pranay Kotasthane Download the Discussion Document in PDF [1.8 MB] Executive Summary “The New World Order” is a phrase often used but rarely understood. This discussion document proposes an analytical framework to decode what a New World Order means for India. The document presents a flexible action portfolio to […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: Impact of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement on Pakistan’s Political Landscape (6/20/2018) by Hamsini Hariharan - By Dr. Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [1 MB] The Pasthun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a powerful civil and human rights movement, has rattled Pakistan’s political and military establishment by drawing huge crowds. The merger of the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) can […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: India-Bhutan Relationships – Fostering the Friendship (5/7/2018) by Shibani Mehta - By Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [2.5 MB] Executive Summary The Doklam crisis is evidence that the regional security dynamic in the neighbourhood is being challenged. As Bhutan readies for its third National Assembly elections later this year, India must act to address Bhutanese concerns that are weakening the […]
  • Takshashila Discussion Slidedoc: India’s China Reset – An Assessment (4/27/2018) by Manoj Kewalramani - By Manoj Kewalramani Download the Assessment in PDF [1.1 MB] Executive Summary Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Wuhan for a two-day informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27 and 28, 2018. The two leaders are expected to discuss “issues of overarching, long-term and strategic importance” along with changes in the […]
  • Takshashila Strategic Assessment: Political Developments in Sri Lanka (4/10/2018) by Hamsini Hariharan - By Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [700 KB] Executive Summary The victory of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in the local bodies’ elections in Sri Lanka in February reflects public dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition’s performance. It also indicates that Rajapaksa continues to […]
  • Takshashila Discussion SlideDoc: Assessing China’s Engagement in the Indian Subcontinent (3/10/2018) by Anirudh Kanisetti - By Anirudh Kanisetti, Hamsini Hariharan, and Manoj Kewalramani Download the Discussion Slidedoc in PDF [1.4 MB] This Slidedoc presents a strategic framework that provides insights into China’s behaviour and highlights various alternative policies that China may consider for engagement in the Indian Subcontinent. An underlying assumption is that China is modeled as a rational actor […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory: A Data Protection Framework for India (2/21/2018) by Manasa Venkataraman - By Rahul Matthan, Manasa Venkataraman, and Ajay Patri Download the Policy Advisory in PDF [650 KB] The Justice Srikrishna Committee (formally called the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B N Srikrishna) is tasked with framing a robust data protection law for India. In November, 2017, the Committee released the White Paper – […]
  • India’s Strategies for a New World Order (1/12/2018) by Anirudh Kanisetti - By Anirudh Kanisetti, Anupam Manur, Pranay Kotasthane, and Akshay Alladi Download the Discussion Document in PDF [5 MB] Over the next quarter century, the international order is likely to change considerably. A new geopolitical and macroeconomic context will necessitate a flexible strategy to maximise India’s national interest. In this Discussion Document, an analytical framework is […]
  • Takshashila Working Paper: Differentiating Unintended Consequences from Unanticipated – A Policy Framework (12/19/2017) by Pranay Kotasthane - By Pranay Kotasthane and Vinay Kumar Singh Download the Working Paper in PDF [640 KB] Abstract The views of de Zwart (2015) related to the conflation of terms, “unintended consequences” and “unanticipated consequences”, the necessity to maintain their distinction and the need to take into account the “unintended but anticipated” consequences as a separate category […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory: Privacy, Security and Ownership of Data in the Telecom Sector (10/18/2017) by Manasa Venkataraman - By Rahul Matthan, Manasa Venkataraman, and Ajay Patri Download the policy advisory in PDF [418 KB] This policy advisory is a curated set of responses to the discussion paper issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, seeking comments and suggestions on the creation of data protection laws. Executive Summary There is an urgent need […]
  • Takshashila Policy Advisory: Privacy, Security and Ownership of Data in the Telecom Sector (10/18/2017) by Manasa Venkataraman - This policy advisory is a curated set of responses to the discussion paper issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, seeking comments and suggestions on the creation of data protection laws. Executive Summary There is an urgent need to bring forth effective data protection norms in India. However, these norms must be introduced and […]
  • Assessment: The hostage handover in Pakistan (10/17/2017) by Anand Arni - By Anand Arni Download the assessment here [0.3MB PDF] This assessment takes a closer look at the events leading to the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan. Key judgments from the assessment are: it is likely that this release is an offering presented by Pakistan before the Mattis/Tillerson visit to Pakistan. A clearer indication […]
  • Discussion Document: A Framework for Governing Gene Editing (10/13/2017) by Anirudh Kanisetti - By Madhav Chandavarkar, Anirudh Kanisetti, Shambhavi Naik, and Ajay Patri Download the Discussion Document in PDF [1.2 MB] Executive Summary Gene editing offers many benefits. They range from basic research that can enhance the scientific understanding of gene functions to practical applications like improved healthcare and agricultural production. At the same time, like other developing […]
  • Takshashila Blue Paper: Charting a New Framework for Data Protection in India (10/11/2017) by Manasa Venkataraman - Download the Blue Paper in PDF [480 KB[ This Blue Paper was prepared as a result of a roundtable discussion organised by the Takshashila Institution on 4 September 2017, based on the Discussion Document, Beyond Consent: A New Paradigm for Data Protection. The discussion document brings forth a rights-based model (Rights Model) to help secure […]
  • Takshashila Blue Paper: Charting a New Framework for Data Protection in India (10/11/2017) by Manasa Venkataraman - This Blue Paper was prepared as a result of a roundtable discussion organised by the Takshashila Institution on 4 September 2017, based on the Discussion Document, Beyond Consent: A New Paradigm for Data Protection. The discussion document brings forth a rights-based model (Rights Model) to help secure the interests of a data subject sharing his […]
  • Policy Proposal: Governing Gene Editing — An Analytical Framework (9/23/2017) by Shambhavi Naik - By Madhav Chandavarkar, Anirudh Kanisetti, Ajay Patri, and Shambhavi Naik Download the Slides in PDF [460 KB] Gene editing, the idea of modifying genes, has long been the stuff of science fiction. But recent advancements in genetic editing has brought the discourse surrounding genetic editing to the forefront. Much of the discourse on gene editing, […]
  • Book Chapter — The other Pakistan: understanding the military-jihadi complex (9/11/2017) by Pranay Kotasthane - By Pranay Kotasthane, Guru Aiyar, and Nitin Pai This is a draft of a chapter submitted to Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Pakistan, August 2017, Edited by Aparna Pande, ISBN: 9781138903715 Download the book chapter [PDF] Pakistan is not one geopolitical entity, but two: the putative state (represented currently by a civilian government), and the military—jihadi […]
  • Discussion Document – Beyond Consent: A New Paradigm for Data Protection (7/20/2017) by Rahul Matthan - By Rahul Matthan Download the Discussion Document in PDF [800 KB] EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Data protection is confined by consent (Consent Model). Once a data subject’s consent is obtained, a data controller is free to collect, process and use such data for the specified purpose and will not be liable for any consequences that might result […]
  • Analysis: Resolving the India-China Standoff at Doka La (7/7/2017) by Nitin Pai - By The Takshashila Geostrategy Team The situation in the India-China border looks tense as the region is experiencing one of the longest impasse between Indian and Chinese troops. If the situation escalates into a potential conflict, the costs for both India and China are significantly high. This graphical representation provides an analysis of how India […]
  • Beyond Consent: A New Paradigm for Data Protection in India (7/7/2017) by Manasa Venkataraman - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Data protection is confined by consent (Consent Model). Once a data subject’s consent is obtained, a data controller is free to collect, process and use such data for the specified purpose and will not be liable for any consequences that might result from its actions. This places the onus on an individual to […]
  • Working Paper: A Framework to Model the India—Pakistan Conflict Escalation (6/14/2017) by Pranay Kotasthane - By Pranay Kotasthane Download the paper in PDF [2.3 MB] The India-Pakistan conflict has variously been described as an ‘enduring rivalry’ or a ‘protracted conflict’ — characterised by its long duration, recurrence of armed exchanges, and the involvement of state and non-state actors. This entrenched conflict began with the birth of the two states in […]
  • Kaveri Dynamic Water Management & Livelihood Protection System (6/12/2017) by Nidhi Gupta - Download the slides as PDF [455 KB] The sharing of waters between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu of the Kaveri river has been the source of a serious political conflict between the states. The current river water management system system relies on court-administered water quotas, which is broken and dysfunctional. These slides propose to replace it […]
  • Individual Liberty vs Public Security in a Radically Networked Society (6/6/2017) by Nitin Pai - By Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Download the book chapter in PDF [214 KB] The debate of liberty versus security gains special significance in India with the emergence of Radically Networked Societies (RNSs). A Radically Networked Society is defined as a web of hyper connected individuals, possessing an identity (imagined or real), and motivated by […]
  • An Analytical Framework of Climate Change and National Security (2/8/2017) by Nitin Pai - By Nitin Pai Download the slides as PDF [680 KB] Climate change has emerged as an important threat multiplier across the world. The instability brought forth by climate change has resulted in natural disasters, droughts and resource shortages in several regions, sometimes resulting in drastic migration of populace. In the Indian context, the rising river […]
  • Macroeconomic Environment in India: The Role of Fiscal and Monetary Policies (12/20/2016) by Dr M Govinda Rao - By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [379 KB] India’s growth story remains highly attractive at a time of fragile global economic recovery, uneven growth and tremendous uncertainty around the global financial and commodity markets. However, taking the economy to a higher growth trajectory over the medium and long term requires considerable […]
  • Demonetisation: Is the Pain Commensurate with the Gain? (12/4/2016) by Dr M Govinda Rao - By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [121 KB] The ruling party has hailed the Prime Minister’s announcement of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes becoming invalid as an historic and unprecedented attack on black economy. Conversely, the opposition has called the move a ‘monumental blunder’ and an ‘organised loot.’ For the most part, […]
  • Analysing India Post-Uri Through a Conflict Escalation Framework (12/1/2016) by Pranay Kotasthane - by Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the Analysis in PDF [0.8MB] These slides interpret the “surgical strikes” conducted after the Uri terrorist attacks, using the India—Pakistan Conflict Escalation Framework. Based on this framework, the document proposes factors that can help make an Operational Conventional Retaliation work. This paper was presented at  the Takshashila Roundtable on […]
  • Analysis: An Account of Unaccounted Money (11/30/2016) by Anupam Manur - By Anupam Manur and Manasa Venkataraman Download the discussion document in PDF An Account of Unaccounted Income is a discussion document that takes an in-depth look at India’s unaccounted economy. It is important to distinguish between different categories of unaccounted economy, each of which has different method of functioning and different implications for the economy. […]
  • Blue Paper: The Role of Airpower in India’s National Security (11/29/2016) by admin - Download the Blue Paper in PDF[526kB] This Blue Paper on the contemporary role of airpower was prepared as a result of discussions with AVM Arjun Subramaniam. The discussions were held as part of Takshashila’s Bangalore Fellows Programme. The Blue Paper addresses the following questions: How does India go towards a mixed force structure of manned […]
  • Discussion Document – Defamation Reforms: Going Beyond Decriminalisation (11/23/2016) by Madhav Chandavarkar - By Madhav Chandavarkar and Manasa Venkataraman Download the Discussion Document in PDF (248 KB) Executive Summary The law for defamation in India impedes free speech more than it protects reputations. While it is vital to protect an individual’s right to reputation, this must not come at the cost of the right to criticise as the […]
  • Discussion Document — India’s Currency Reform 2016 (11/23/2016) by Nitin Pai - By Nitin Pai and Anupam Manur Download India’s Currency Reform 2016 in PD (455 KB) The recent withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes as legal tender has evoked various responses. On one hand the government’s stance is that this will reduce a large portion of unaccounted money (also popularly known as black […]
  • A New Institutional Mechanism for Fiscal Management in India (11/2/2016) by Dr M Govinda Rao - By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [442 KB] Given the political inclination to indulge in fiscal profligacy, it is important to ensure calibration of rule based fiscal policy to provide space to conduct monetary policies. Although there has been considerable progress in the conduct of rule based fiscal policy and ensuring […]
  • Takshashila Blue Paper on India’s Coastal Security Architecture (10/7/2016) by admin - The Takshashila Institution and the US Consulate, Chennai, hosted a roundtable conference on reviewing India’s coastal security architecture at The Hyatt MG Road, on 23 September 2016. The roundtable discussion brought together experts who brainstormed ideas to secure India’s coastline, effectively and efficiently. The following slides provide an overview of the event, the key challenges […]
  • Research Publication: Karnataka’s Changing Fiscal Landscape after FFC (8/17/2016) by Pranay Kotasthane - Pranay Kotasthane and Varun Ramachandra Analyse the State’s Finances after the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC). Download the Full Publication in PDF (114KB) Analysing the second Karnataka budget since the Fourteenth Finance Commission award, it is noted that, as assured, more fiscal space is made available to the state government. With greater untied funds, the state […]
  • Research Publication: Sketching Out India’s Role in the Asia-Pacific (8/12/2016) by admin - The Indo-Pacific region has witnessed a huge surge in economic interaction, demographics and transnational security in recent years. The 2016 Australian Defence White Paper affirms that this is Australia’s region however, this is a vast maritime zone engaging the interests of various nations. These include India, Japan, China, the United States in addition to Indonesia, […]
  • Policy Brief: Capacity Analysis for Evacuation of Indian Diaspora (8/10/2016) by Guru Aiyar - Capacity Analysis for Evacuation of Indian Diaspora By Guru Aiyar, Takshashila Fellow Download the brief in PDF format (889KB) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since 1991, India has been involved in six major evacuations from West Asia alone. Mass evacuations have become a recurrent feature and it is very likely that the Indian government will be called upon for […]
  • Privatising Film Certification: Towards a Modern Film Rating Regime (6/9/2016) by Madhav Chandavarkar - Privatising Film Certification: Towards a Modern Film Rating Regime Madhav Chandavarkar, Adhip Amin, Shikha Pathak, Siddarth Gore, Devika Kher and Guru Aiyar, The Takshashila Institution Download the policy advisory in PDF format (508KB) Executive Summary The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is in charge of the regulation of the exhibition of films in India under […]
  • Discussion Document — India’s Policy towards Myanmar: Interests, determinants and risk factors (2/18/2016) by Guru Aiyar - India’s Policy towards Myanmar: Interests, determinants and risk factors Guru Aiyar and Priya Ravichandran, The Takshashila Institution Download the discussion document in PDF format (160KB) Executive Summary Myanmar’s elections in November 2015 have given a resounding verdict in the favour of National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. As a […]
  • Policy Brief: Implementing Pune’s Parking Policy (2/2/2016) by Siddarth Gore - Implementation of Pune’s City Parking Policy In response to the draft public parking policy of Pune Municipal Corporation Siddarth Gore, Scholar Centre for Smart City Governance, The Takshashila Institution Read the full Policy Brief [350KB PDF] Executive Summary The draft parking policy of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is based on progressive economic and well as […]
  • Discussion Document — Sustained Dialogue Process as India’s Pakistan Policy: An assessment (1/9/2016) by Pranay Kotasthane - Sustained Dialogue Process as India’s Pakistan Policy: An assessment Rohan Joshi and Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the discussion document in PDF format (160KB) Executive Summary A prevalent view in India is that a sustained dialogue at the highest levels is the only realistic chance for peace with Pakistan. In this paper, we systematically […]

  • Of regulating information and disorder: MisDisMal-Information Edition 25 (11/24/2020) by Prateek Waghre - This is an excerpt from edition 25 of MisDisMal-Information (Of regulating information and disorder)– For the complete edition, go here. There was a lot of concern over the weekend as Kerala’s Governor gave his assent to an ordinance to amend the Kerala Police Act ostensibly in response to rising information disorder and defamatory attacks on women and […]
  • China wants a reset with Biden, but won’t change its approach (11/23/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - There has been much debate about why China was slow to acknowledge Joe Biden’s election victory. It took nearly a week after Biden’s victory speech for China’s foreign ministry to issue formal congratulations. Xi Jinping is among the few world leaders who still hasn’t spoken to Biden. Despite that, Beijing has been watching the unfolding […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #88: Economics Matters, Capitalism Works (11/23/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • Eye on China: LAC, FDI, RCEP – Bhutan Village – Nepal’s Politics – Big Defaults – Xi’s Summits – New US Approach – Warning Australia – EU’s Dependence (11/23/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties Over the last two weeks, there have been reports of India and China agreeing to some sort of partial disengagement and de-escalation formula in Eastern Ladakh. It’s all rather sketchy and […]
  • Nations are hurting themselves in their big fight with Big Tech (11/22/2020) by Nitin Pai - This article was originally published in Live Mint. Views are Personal. In a recent interview with The Atlantic magazine, Barack Obama described social media as “the single biggest threat to our democracy”, arguing that these platforms had destroyed the common narrative necessary for democracy to function. He held tech companies partly responsible, contending that, “The […]
  • Atmanirbharta may come at a price (11/21/2020) by Ajit Ranade - This article was originally published in Mumbai Mirror. You can read the full piece here. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which was formed 20 years ago, has more than 12 crore customers – 10 percent of all the telecom subscribers in the country. In landline connections, it has nearly half of the two crore landline […]
  • Watch on Japan | #5 Science Council Reform – MALABAR Exercise – BIDEN’s Win, Wait & Watch situation for Japan – ASEAN Annual Summit. (11/19/2020) by Divya Suresh - Watch on Japan | #5 Science Council Reform – MALABAR Exercise – BIDEN’s Win, Wait & Watch situation for Japan – ASEAN Annual Summit. By Divya Suresh HIGHLIGHTS: 1st Nov –15th Nov. ● Suga calls for Science Council reform. ● The Suga government faces a row of questions over the Science Council and the dispute remains […]
  • Bursting firecrackers on Diwali isn’t the problem. Making it a national and moral issue is (11/17/2020) by Nitin Pai - As I write this, there is a continuous stream of firecrackers outside the window of my Bengaluru apartment: relatively subdued in my immediate vicinity compared to previous years, but nevertheless quite vigorous. It is just as well that the Karnataka government under B.S. Yediyurappa reversed its decision to ban firecrackers — albeit permitting only “green” ones — because […]
  • Can the professor be stopped in India? (11/16/2020) by Rohan Seth - This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Views are personal. If you binge-watch one show this year, let it be Money Heist. I started (and finished) the crime drama last week and have to say my favourite bits were the phone calls between the Professor and the Spanish law enforcement. In case you don’t […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #86: Production-Linked Subsidies & Decoding Charisma (11/16/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about a […]
  • China’s semiconductor gold rush: A reality check (11/15/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - The semiconductor industry has become a major front in the US-China tech war. Given that this is a weak link in China’s otherwise impressive technology stack, the US has imposed export controls restricting Chinese semiconductor companies from accessing key equipment, software, and intellectual property. This article was first published in the South China Morning Post. […]
  • The need for a more direct stimulus (11/14/2020) by Ajit Ranade - The finance minister announced a stimulus package called Atmanirbhar 3.0, so-called because it was the third in a series. The total rupee value of this stimulus for the economy is 2.65 trillion. A stimulus is supposed to put money in the pocket of the citizen so that he or she can start spending. That is, […]
  • Managing India’s Defence Expenditure Requires a Whole-of-Government Approach (11/13/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - “We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.” This logical fallacy, derisively labelled as the politician’s syllogism, accurately explains recent developments to contain defence expenditure in the wake of COVID-19. Balancing between development and defence priorities is a tough act even in the best of times. But the unprecedented economic aftermath […]
  • Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 2 | Biden & the Middle East (11/13/2020) by Madhuvanthi Srinivasan - Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 2: November 11, 2020 By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan Biden & the Middle East Joe Biden’s nomination as the Democrat candidate for the U.S presidential elections made Middle East observers evaluate his potential policies. Now, with his election to the White House, will Washington’s approach in the Middle East change significantly or will […]
  • Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine (11/13/2020) by Ameya Paleja - Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine By Ameya Paleja To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, India has a mammoth task of vaccinating a major share of her population. At Takshashila Institution, we recently recommended a strategy to vaccinate 80% of India’s population by December 2021. If you missed the engaging discussion during our webinar, you can find a […]
  • Flawed regulation can undermine the digital payment ecosystem (11/13/2020) by Anupam Manur - Anupam Manur writes in Hindustan Times on why the limits placed on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for third-party apps by NPCI is flawed. Systemic risks are automatically lower when consumers, merchants, and third-party app developers are all multi-homing, meaning they simultaneously use more than one app for the same purpose. The UPI ecosystem is radically […]
  • The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Disengagement; China’s Next Overseas Base; Taiwan and the US Marines; Veterans Legislation; Newer Construction in the South China Sea (11/13/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Disengagement? The eight Corp Commander-level meeting between China and India took place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel meeting point on November 6. The meeting which started at 9.30 am went up to 7 pm. Like the sixth and seventh Corp Commander-level meetings, this too was attended by diplomats […]
  • Economy to Decide Ties (11/10/2020) by Ajit Ranade - Kamala Harris will become the first-ever Vice President of America to have Indian ancestry. Senator Harris’ mother Shyamala Gopalan arrived in the United States at the age of 19 to do her PhD in nutrition and endocrinology at the University of California in Berkeley. Harris has maintained her links with her maternal grandparents and other […]
  • EC should allow Biharis in Bengaluru to vote for state polls. US showed every vote matters (11/10/2020) by Nitin Pai - Many of those who followed the drama of the US presidential election last week were struck by the seemingly patchy and disorganised manner in which the votes were counted. This also led to the impression that Joe Biden “caught up” with Donald Trump in the four battleground states that ultimately swung the election in favour of the Democrats. A number […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #84: Factions Are Natural (11/8/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - India Policy Watch: The Indian State — Too Big or Too Small? Insights on burning policy issues in India — Pranay Kotasthane In edition #23, we tried to answer this question: how to think about the Indian state? Closely related is another question: is the Indian State too big or too small? And as it holds […]
  • India should create bubbles of trust with its geopolitical allies (11/8/2020) by Nitin Pai - A few months ago, this column had argued that the tech war between the United States and China is being fought across a flexible, porous bamboo curtain, and India’s interests lie in staying out of the Sinosphere while creating circles or bubbles of trust “with the US, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea that […]
  • Eye on China: LAC Talks – Xi’s 2035 Plan – Nepal’s Land – ANT Blocked – US Mocked – Aus Coerced – Buddhism Crackdown in Tibet – Covid Origins Probe (11/8/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. I. India-China Ties The eighth round of commander-level talks on the boundary issue was held on Friday. The talks apparently lasted from 9.30 am and ended at about 7 pm. There’s really little that’s […]
  • The PLA Insight: PLA Modernisation by 2027?; Border Dispute; Gwadar Mil Base; Mil Tech- Disruptive Technologies; CJ-100; CMC S & T Commission; PLA & AI Competitions (11/7/2020) by Suyash Desai - I. The Big Story: PLA by 2027: A Modern Army? The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee last week. The primary task was to assess the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and consider the draft proposal for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), but the […]
  • The consent of the loser (11/7/2020) by Ajit Ranade - One of the best speeches of a candidate conceding electoral victory to his rival was that of Senator John McCain in 2008. America had just elected its first ever black President. It was close to midnight on voting day November 4, after a gruelling campaign season that lasted several months. Of course, not all votes […]
  • Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 1| Erdoğan, Macron & Bad Blood (11/6/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 1, November 4, 2020. By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Islam is in crisis” comment, his defense for the caricatures republished by Charlie Hebdo & the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty reignited tensions with Turkish President Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan & the Muslim world, at large. But the Macron-Erdoğan spat […]
  • Watch on Japan | #4 The first Diet session- Suga’s Overseas trip- UK-Japan trade deal- Zero carbon emissions by 2050 (11/5/2020) by Divya Suresh - Watch on Japan | #4 The first Diet session- Suga’s Overseas trip- UK-Japan trade deal- Zero carbon emissions by 2050 By Divya Suresh HIGHLIGHTS: 15th Oct – 31st Oct. ● Suga announced short-term, result-oriented domestic policies in the first Diet session, while his foreign policy remains closer to his predecessor. ●The issue of disposal of treated […]
  • Why India must vaccinate 80% of population by December 2021 — no matter what the cost (11/3/2020) by Nitin Pai - Planning for a national Covid-19 vaccination programme has begun to move forward in right earnest in India. Last week Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to state governments outlining the administrative structures to be put in place to oversee the implementation in their respective jurisdictions. As of now, the Narendra Modi government expects the vaccination programme to […]
  • A coalition to counter China will take some time to operationalize (11/3/2020) by Nitin Pai - This story was first published in The Mint. Views are personal. This week, another important cog in the machinery of strategic cooperation between India and the United States fell into place when the two countries signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (Beca) for Geospatial Intelligence. The agreement opens the doors for India to get access […]
  • Future-Reliance saga has a scary message: If Amazon can’t enforce a contract, who can? (11/2/2020) by Rohan Seth - This story was first published in The Economic Times. Views are personal. In case you have not been paying attention, the pandemic has had a transformative impact on the future of Indian retail and e-commerce. Earlier in October, Kishore Biyani admitted that the pandemic had led to his company, ‘Future Group’, losing ₹7000 crores in 3-4 months. […]
  • Anticipating the Unintended #82: What Does it Mean to be Free? (11/2/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how do I think about […]

  • Considerations underlying Prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccine recipients (11/25/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The scale and rampant spread of COVID-19 has generated a huge challenge for the world. While vaccine candidates are racing through the trial process, countries are gearing up to administer the early vaccines to their populace. It is obvious that initially no country will have enough vaccine supply to vaccinate everyone. In India, we will require […]
  • Space Matters #4 (11/19/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The Great Game for Space: China’s space tracking ship are seeing increased deployments To match the increased space launch rates , China’s third generation satellite tracking ship the Yuanwang-6 has seen increased deployments. The ship and others in its class act as mobile ground stations and try to crudely fill the gaps in China’s satellite […]
  • Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine (11/13/2020) by Ameya Paleja - Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine By Ameya Paleja To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, India has a mammoth task of vaccinating a major share of her population. At Takshashila Institution, we recently recommended a strategy to vaccinate 80% of India’s population by December 2021. If you missed the engaging discussion during our webinar, you can find a […]
  • Is the NEP 2020 really transformative? (11/10/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Is the NEP 2020 really transformative? By Samhit Reddy The National Education Policy 2020 introduces a slew of reforms and also seems to appreciate the importance of education for social and economic development. Unfortunately, it fails to adequately investigate the causes of the miserable state of education in our country and thus to provide feasible […]
  • SMART and the Challenge of Submarine Hunting (11/5/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo tested last month might seem an impressive weapon on paper, but to make it an effective weapon, India will need drastically improve its ability to monitor the oceans depths. The Government of India and DRDO announced on 5 October 2020 that they have successfully tested a Supersonic Missile […]
  • Space Matters #3 (11/3/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The Great Game for Space: Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) between US and India has been signed. The newly signed agreement will grant India access to US DoD and US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA’s) “geospatial information bank”. This will have a direct impact on India’s long range missiles, providing essential corrections to inertial navigation […]
  • Space Matters #2 (10/16/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The Great Game for Space: The Artemis Accords have been signed: Eight countries (the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom) have penned their consent to a seven-page agreement which outlines principles that signatory nations in NASA’s Artemis programme are expected to adhere to. These principles include interoperability, […]
  • Design and Construction of Submarines (10/13/2020) by Aditya Pareek - Some Cutting Edge Features, Technology and Tactics that have their origin in the Cold War and WWII. The following commentary is an effort to connect some dots and put into perspective some information about Design and Construction choices of Submarines during the Cold War by US and USSR. The text is based on extensive notes […]
  • Health or money? Why can’t Indians have both? (10/5/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Since the pandemic started, there have been news about Indians having to pay bills for COVID-19 treatment anywhere in the range from 1 lakh to 20 lakhs. One can only imagine the strain these bills would have put on the household finances. According to the National Health Accounts 2016-17 report, out-of-pocket expenditure accounted for 58.7% […]
  • Space Matters #1 (10/2/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The Great Game for Space: China loses access to strategically important Satellite Tracking Stations in Sweden and Australia, diminishing their capability for remote sensing in the Pacific and North Sea. Recently Jonathan Barrett at Reuters reported that the Swedish Space Corporation(SSC) has decided not to conduct any new business with China. Citing changes in geopolitics […]
  • Watch on Japan #2 | Suga becomes New PM of Japan & way forward with ‘Suganomics’ (10/1/2020) by Divya Suresh - Suga becomes New PM of Japan & way forward with ‘Suganomics’ By Divya Suresh HIGHLIGHTS: 15th, Sep -30th, Sep. · Yoshihide Suga becomes the PM of Japan, winning a landslide victory in Liberation Democratic Party’s presidential elections. He succeeds Shinzo Abe and promises to carry out his major policy initiatives. · Amidst the pandemic situation […]
  • Why India should buy more Diesel Electric Submarines (9/11/2020) by Aditya Pareek - India is on a trajectory to induct a significant number of both nuclear-propelled and nuclear-armed submarines in the coming years. However, the mainstay of its sub-surface fleet remains conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines. With eight Russian-origin Sindhughosh(Kilo) class vessels making up the most potent portion of its submarine fleet, it makes sense for India to choose […]
  • From a scientist to a science policy analyst — my journey and key learnings (8/20/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - My grandmother bravely fought, but eventually lost her battle with breast cancer. Those childhood memories inspired me to take up a career focused on curing cancer. After spending a decade across 3 laboratories trying to kill cancer cells in petri dishes, I chose to leave academia. I loved every single moment at the lab bench. […]
  • To what extent is the Kargil War a case of intelligence failure? (7/27/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - Why was India surprised in Kargil 21 years ago? Serving IPS officer Vijay Sakhare, who specializes in intelligence and related issues, gives us his take. By Vijay Sakhare Introduction In the summer of 1999, India and Pakistan fought a high-altitude limited war in Kargil, a remote area in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.[1] […]
  • Takshashila Survey – Comparative Study of COVID-19’s Effects on Teenagers in India and The United States of America (7/7/2020) by Guest Editor - Download the Survey in PDF This report, commissioned by the Takshashila Institution, paints a vivid picture of how 2 countries – India and the United States – are dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The analysis investigates the patterns of behaviour amongst people of all ages during these times, however the main objective of the […]
  • Re-purposing vaccines for COVID-19: Need for context (7/4/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The Sars-CoV-2 virus has befuddled scientists on two counts. First it is a novel virus, whose genetic structure was deduced only 6 months ago. Since then, a hunt for a cure or vaccine has been on. The virus is also evolving, with multiple strains in circulation. In an additional twist, Sars-CoV-2 seems to produce a […]
  • Responding to the Standoff on the LAC in Ladakh (6/19/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - By The Takshashila Geostrategy Team This graphical representation looks at India’s options for responding its standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with the People’s Republic of China. Since China has seized territory, it only needs to hold on to what it has gained to maintain the new status quo. On the […]
  • The Laskhar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan (6/18/2020) by Anand Arni - The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has become more visible after a hiatus – this time in Afghanistan both in support of the Taliban and in a takeover of the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK). The LeT was, originally, set up by the ISI in Kunar, Afghanistan in the late 1980’s to provide a platform for Pakistanis to […]
  • Where is the transparency in India’s health governance? (6/15/2020) by Sunila Dixit - The management of COVID-19 outbreak in India has raised many governance questions. Frequently revised guidelines, unclear instructions and inadequate policy briefings have impacted the delivery of healthcare and containment of the disease. The hard work of frontline workers and the healthcare professionals in executing the containment measures at the ground level becomes ineffective in the […]
  • A need to reassess the traveller testing strategy (6/12/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The Government of Karnataka has advised travellers coming into the state to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Private labs are being pressed into action to supplement the existing COVID-19 testing capacity. The advisory recommends collecting samples from incoming travellers, followed by an institutional or home quarantine period depending on the point of departure. The […]
  • Why the “Atma Nirbhar” package seems insufficient to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak ? (5/29/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - The Atma Nirbhar Package announced by the Union Government might be insufficient to deal with the economic impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. The package does little to create a demand stimulus and misses out on initiating policies for economic reconstruction.   The COVID19 outbreak and the containment measures to deal with it have led to a […]
  • Recent Political Developments in Afghanistan – An Assessment (5/28/2020) by Anand Arni - The Unending Saga of US-Taliban ‘Peace’ Deal On May 23 2020, the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire with effect from May 24, the day when Afghanistan celebrates Eid ul Fitr marking the end of Ramzan. President Ashraf Ghani responded positively by ordering his troops to respect the truce. He also indicated that the prisoner exchange […]
  • Going Private: The Crew Dragon launch and lessons for India (5/27/2020) by Pranav RS - Activities in space never sleep. Satellites continue to orbit the Earth; telescopes gaze at distant heavenly bodies and astronauts carry on with their experiments in the International Space Station. In the backdrop of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the world is set to witness the beginning of a new era in space history. After […]
  • China’s post-COVID economic recovery plan (5/27/2020) by Guest Editor - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outlined the government’s roadmap for a post-COVID economic recovery in his annual policy address before the National People’s Congress on Friday. There are three highlights from Li’s speech, which inform of future policy. The first is to drop the explicit GDP growth target, while setting clear targets for poverty alleviation and […]
  • How will maternal and child health be affected by COVID-19? (5/20/2020) by Sunila Dixit - In times of COVID-19, other health issues have been put on a back-burner. The lockdown has affected many essential health services, maternal and child health (MCH) services being one of them. Neglect of MCH services can lead to the possible rise in morbidity and mortality among mothers and children. This impact will be exacerbated among […]
  • BRI in the post-Covid world (5/12/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Earlier this month, a piece by Bee Chun Boo, Martin David and Ben Simpfendorfer discussed the challenges that the post-Covid world is likely to bring for China’s Belt and Road Initiative. They argued that “the reduced flow of Chinese capital and the economic fallout for the country’s financially challenged SME sector may bring about a […]
  • How to maintain labour networks, when the second wave of infections hits India ? (5/12/2020) by Sunila Dixit - When the first lockdown was announced, India witnessed a major migrant crisis. Migrant labourers, working in the informal sector, came out in large numbers to go back to their hometowns. This worked against the very concept of lockdown, as migrant labourers gathered in public places and fought to get on the already crowded buses. When […]
  • Why Kerala is not the correct comparison for Maharashtra’s COVID response (5/2/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Maharashtra with 9,318 COVID positive cases as of April 28, has the highest COVID disease burden in the country. The Maharashtra government implemented a number of measures after the first case was discovered on March 9. Stricter measures have come in, post the imposition of a nation-wide lockdown, but the cases of COVID19 in Maharashtra have outgrown […]
  • When the second wave of infections comes, here’s how India can keep supply chains intact (5/1/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - When lockdowns are lifted in India, experts expect a second wave of infections due to the increased human-to-human contact that is sure to follow. This will likely lead to another set of lockdowns to reduce the burden on India’s healthcare systems. It is important to ensure that these future lockdowns do not disrupt economic activity […]
  • China’s Victim Card Doesn’t Work (4/29/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - By Rahul Sharma Summary: China’s attempts to project itself as a victim at a time when it is being squarely blamed for infecting the world with the deadly coronavirus won’t work, for while the world might not have come together to fight the pandemic, it has definitely joined hands to take Beijing head-on. The US […]
  • Why religion needs to be addressed in times of infectious disease outbreaks? (4/21/2020) by Sunila Dixit - In times of outbreaks, religion can play a significant role in determining the course of tide. There have been many reports about religious congregations being hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus. As unfortunate that is, the governments and its public health systems must not forget that religious leaders are important stakeholders in crisis like […]
  • Covid-19: Transnational Cooperation and the Epistemic Community (4/16/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - By Dr Rajesh Basrur Summary: The scientific community is critical to the battle against Covid-19. But to strengthen its efforts, we need to go beyond current institutional limitations. President Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw American funding from the World Health Organization (WHO) is unsurprising given the organizations’ failure to respond expeditiously to the Covid-19 […]
  • Survey Findings: Perceptions of PRC amid Covid-19 pandemic (4/6/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - A significant majority of Indians believe that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) opacity and mismanagement of the outbreak of Covid-19 is to blame for the global pandemic. Despite that, Indians continue to have a nuanced view of the bilateral relationship, with a majority believing that while competition persists, there are shared interests that both […]
  • SAARC – A Bilateral Blunder (3/31/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - By Tarushi Aswani With Coronavirus engulfing the entire world in its burning flames, it is yet another moment to understand the importance of cooperation between nations. After India’s resolve to pitch in funds for an emergency fund within SAARC, Afghanistan, Maldives and Nepal have also stepped up their game, each contributing substantial amounts to the […]
  • Let Prices Rise (3/28/2020) by Utkarsh Narain - Supermarkets shelves are empty. Groceries are stocked out. Alcohol-based sanitisers have been missing from racks for a few days now. Even medical masks which generally would sell for Rs 6-10 per piece are being sold for up to Rs 100 a piece. As India enters into the third stage of transmission of COVID-19, we need […]
  • India, Disease, and Global History (3/27/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The way that India reacts to any macrohistorical trend often determines the course of global history. And yet, as Covid-19 looms over 1.3 billion people, there seems to be little concern about the bungling and misinformation that have surrounded India’s response to the disease. I wrote on Medium about issues in the way India is […]
  • Menstrual leave policy: A first-world band-aid to a deeply social wound? (3/21/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - First of all, I want to thank two groups of women – first, the one who have supported an online petition demanding India to adopt a menstrual leave policy. I might not agree with their view or believe India’s current economic situation supports such a policy, but I sincerely applaud their actions to stand up […]
  • Climate Change and Global Politics (3/19/2020) by Guest Post Takshashila - By Gayathri Rajesh The UN defines sustainable development as the development that takes place through justified use of the earth’s current resources in a way that it “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Yet only certain countries seem to be practising a model […]
  • Rare Earths: Why, Where, How? (3/17/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The enigmatic materials known as rare earths allow the manufacture of some of the most economically and strategically valuable materials of the 21st century. In this brief essay, I aim to understand what they are, why they behave the way they do, how their deposit locations are influenced by these properties, and anticipate some areas […]
  • Nuclear Reflections #0: An Introduction (2/11/2020) by Pranav RS - Nuclear weapons are in vogue once again. They make headlines every few weeks, if not every other day. Indeed, Russia’s fancy new weapons do echo the days of the Cold War, when the US and Soviet Union raced build a panoply of weapon-systems suited for just about any enemy target. With the slow demise of […]
  • Nearing Doomsday? (2/10/2020) by Pranav RS - As we begin our journey into the third decade of the 21st century, the Doomsday Clock strikes 100 seconds to midnight, the closest in history, thus telling us that we are ever closer to the brink of annihilation than ever before. The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic design created by the Bulletin of the Atomic […]
  • डीएनए हो सकती है भारत के स्वास्थ्य की चाबी (1/8/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - ‘जीन कुंडली खोलेगी ज़िंदगी के राज’ – जनसत्ता में प्रकाशित इस लेख में दावा किया गया है की डीएनए संरचना विधेयक के कानून बनते ही देश में जीन कुंडली बनाने का रास्ता साफ़ हो जाएगा| लेकिन यह निष्कर्ष ठीक नहीं है| डीएनए विधेयक कानून से स्थापित होने वाला डेटाबेस और जीन संशोधन के लिये स्थापित […]
  • Reflections from Bottle of Lies (12/24/2019) by Shambhavi Naik - Katherine Eban’s book Bottle of Lies focusses on major issues in generic drug manufacturing, using the Ranbaxy scandal as an example of unethical practices in the field. The book is written as a journal of Ranbaxy’s malpractices based on whistle blower testimony and subsequent US- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation, with an occasional mention […]
  • Book Review: Do Ideals Matter for Foreign Policymaking? (12/19/2019) by Pranay Kotasthane - Values in Foreign Policy: Investing Ideals and Interests Edited by: Krishnan Srinivasan, James Mayall, Sanjay Pulipaka Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pages: 269 What better time to discuss a subject when everyone seems to be ruing the absence of it. From that angle alone, this anthology “Values in Foreign Policy: Investigating Ideals and Interests” deserves attention […]
  • India’s Defence Space Agency: The Way Forward (10/18/2019) by Pranav RS - Soon after conducting the ASAT test in April this year, the Indian government announced that it will set up a new agency called the  Defence Space Agency (DSA) comprising of members from the Army, Navy and Air Force,  and supported by a new research organization known as the Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO). This not […]
  • Elections in Afghanistan: Redux of 2014? (10/16/2019) by Sankalp Gurjar - Ending months of suspense, Afghanistan held its fourth Presidential elections on 28th September. As the United States was engaged with Taliban in search of finding a political way out of Afghan mess, holding Presidential elections seemed a distant possibility till early September. However, as President Trump cancelled talks with the Taliban on 8th September, US’s calculations changed and elections […]
  • Managing China: What Medieval India Has to Teach Us (10/11/2019) by Anirudh Kanisetti - In June/July of the year 720 CE a delegation of South Indians from Mahabalipuram visited the imperial court of China bearing gifts of leopard fur and a colourful talking parrot[1]. Now, as India hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram – almost 1,300 years after this embassy – it’s worth revisiting the diplomatic strategy of […]
  • China at 70: Successful Model or Insecure State? (10/8/2019) by Sankalp Gurjar - On 1st October, People’s Republic of China completed 70 years. To commemorate the occasion, China had organized a grand parade in Beijing. As the whole world was watching, advanced weapons systems including ballistic missiles, fighter jets and tanks were on display in the parade. It was an occasion to mark the success of the revolution and […]
  • Human Nature and the Geopolitics of Online Worlds (9/23/2019) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Over the last week, I’ve been absolutely geeking out over massively multiplayer online worlds. In India, our conception of an online world – and what people can do in them – is generally social media-centric. Social media is a rich experience of its own, but people on social media are generally somewhat limited in terms […]
  • America’s Arctic Adventure (7/28/2019) by Aditya Ramanathan - American officials are making noises about carrying out a freedom of navigation operation in the Russian-controlled Northern Sea Route. Any such action will only serve to provoke Russia and backfire against America. From the dark of orbital space, satellites are sending back images of massive smoke clouds rising from the Arctic region. The smoke – […]

  • India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order (11/18/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order Edited by: Pranay Kotasthane, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Nitin Pai. Contributors: Akshay Alladi, Alok Prasanna Kumar, Ameya Ashok Naik, Anupam Manur, Aparna Pande, Anirudh Kanisetti, Avinash M. Tripathi, Constantino Xavier, Jakob Urda, James M. Dorsey, Kartik Shanker, Manoj Kewalramani, Meera Anna Oommen, Nitin Pai, Pranay Kotasthane, Raja Karthikeya, Shambhavi Naik, […]
  • Between the Buyer and the Seller (8/25/2017) by Ganesh Chakravarthi - Between the Buyer and the Seller By Karthik Shashidhar Edited by Ganesh Chakravarthi Perfect Paperback: 279 pages Publisher: Takshashila Institution (2017) Language: English ISBN-10: 8193197690 ISBN-13: 978-8193197691 Order now About the book Why is it difficult to find Feta Cheese in Bangalore, or mango pickles in Barcelona? Why are tourists encouraged to bargain? Why do startup platforms provide heavy incentives […]
  • Book: Distance from Delhi—Essays on Geopolitics, Economics and Public Policy (12/15/2015) by Pranay Kotasthane - Distance from Delhi: Essays on Geopolitics, Economics and Public Policy by Anupam Manur, Devika Kher, Karthik Shashidhar, Madhav Chandavarkar, Pavan Srinath, Pranay Kotasthane, Priya Ravichandran, Sarah Farooqui, Rohan Joshi, Varun Ramachandra and Saurabh Chandra Edited by Sarah Farooqui Takshashila Institution Press 2015 ISBN: 978-8193197646 Rs. 295 About the book: India is not New Delhi and New Delhi is not India, though sometimes this gets […]
  • Book: A Visible Hand (12/15/2015) by Anupam Manur - A Visible Hand by Narayan Ramachandran Edited by Anupam Manur Takshashila Institution Press 2015 ISBN: 978-8193197608 Rs. 295 About the book: A Visible Hand is a collection of essays from Narayan Ramachandran on the intersection of Economics, Politics, and Society. They offer a fresh perspective and original take on many aspects of emerging India – from the political […]
  • Book: The Economics of Derivatives (3/3/2015) by Guest Post Takshashila - The Economics of Derivatives by TV Somanathan and V Anantha Nageswaran Cambridge University Press 2015 ISBN: 9781107091504 Rs. 590 | $85.50 About the book: While most books on derivatives discuss how they work, this book looks at the contributions of derivatives to overall economic well-being. It examines both the beneficial and adverse effects of derivatives trading […]

  • All Things Policy: The World Health Assembly Meets Amid a Pandemic (11/25/2020) by Sunila Dixit - While the pandemic rages on without end, the 73rd World Health Assembly has passed important resolutions relating to vaccination, food security, and other diseases. Manoj Kewalramani and Sunila Dixit talk about the recent resolutions as well as the controversial resolution passed in May calling for an investigation into WHO handling of the crisis. Referred link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/02/world/who-china-coronavirus.html
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Surya Prakash BS on Reimagining India’s Revenue (11/24/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, lawyer and accountant Surya Prakash BS joins Pranay Kotasthane to talk about how India’s byzantine revenue system can […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Kunal Singh on Leveraging the India-US Partnership (11/23/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Kunal Singh, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about how […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Shruti Rajagopalan on India’s Strength in Numbers (11/20/2020) by Anupam Manur - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Anupam Manur to talk about how India’s population is one of its biggest assets. […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Raja Karthikeya on India as an International Mediator (11/19/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Raja Karthikeya, a UN diplomat, joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about how international mediation […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Ameya Naik on India and the Rules-Based International Order (11/18/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Ameya Ashok Naik joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about the rules-based international order. Is […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Marathon: Alok Prasanna Kumar on Reforming India’s Institutions (11/17/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Takshashila Institution has launched a new book, India’s Marathon: Reshaping the Post-Pandemic World Order, a collection of essays by public intellectuals about our changing world and what India needs to do to thrive. In this episode, author Alok Prasanna Kumar joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan to talk about the issues that India’s institutions […]
  • All Things Policy: Pfizer and the Hunt for a COVID-19 Vaccine (11/13/2020) by Sunila Dixit - What does Pfizer’s announcement about its COVID-19 vaccine mean? Why did Brazil halt China’s SinoVac vaccine trial? When will Serum Institute’s vaccine be ready? Manoj Kewalramani is joined by Ameya Paleja and Sunila Dixit to talk about progress being made towards workable vaccines for COVID-19.
  • All Things Policy: What India’s Information Ecosystem Can Learn from the US Elections (11/12/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Information disorder took center-stage in the 2020 US elections, with mass-media and social media platforms both amplifying and containing narratives. What lessons can the information ecosystem in India learn from them? Prateek Waghre is joined by Devika Khandelwal from ‘Logically’ and Himanshi Dahiya from ‘The Quint’ to talk about this. Relevant Links: 1. https://thewire.in/tech/2020-us-elections-information-ecosystem-social-media 2. https://www.logically.ai/articles/bihar-elections-how-reliable-polls 3. https://twitter.com/himansshhi/status/1326038194597498880
  • All Things Policy: How Will Biden Deal With China? (11/11/2020) by Suyash Desai - Will a Biden administration get tougher on Beijing? Will it ease the pressure? Or will it be more of the same? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss what the coming years might hold for US-China relations.
  • All Things Policy: What Ancient Egypt Tells Us About Ourselves (11/10/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Cleopatra, the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt is closer to our time than the Great Pyramid of Giza was to her time. How did ancient Egypt last so long? And how did it combine dynamism with endurance? Anirudh Kanisetti joins Aditya Ramanathan to discuss the origins, ascent, and eventual decline of this astonishing civilization […]
  • All Things Policy: What Today’s Submarines Owe to the Cold War and WWII (11/9/2020) by Aditya Pareek - The cutting edge features in naval submarines today are the legacy of Cold War-era technologies that were, in turn, derived from both Axis and Allied efforts from the 1930s. Suyash Desai and Aditya Pareek discuss the fascinating history of how today’s submarines came to be. You can read Aditya Pareek’s blog post on the subject […]
  • All Things Policy: China’s Plan for the Next Five Years (11/6/2020) by Suyash Desai - China held the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee last week. The primary task was to assess the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and consider the draft proposal for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). What were the major takeaways from the plenary session? What are the significant economic, military, […]
  • All Things Policy: Rags to Riches: The Mystery of Social Mobility in India (11/5/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Social mobility refers to a change in one’s social status relative to one’s current social location. What are the factors impacting social mobility? What is the extent of social mobility in India? What are its impact on society, politics, and the economy? In this episode, Apurva Kumar and Sarthak Pradhan analyse some recent academic literature […]
  • All Things Policy: The Political Theatre of Section 230 (11/4/2020) by Prateek Waghre - The US Senate questioned the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google on whether Section 230- which shields them from liability for the actions of online users – enables their own ‘bad behaviour’. What’s driving this new bout of scrutiny? And how will this affect the policy landscape in India? Manoj Kewalramani speaks to Rohan Seth […]
  • All Things Policy: The Perils of Stubble Burning (11/3/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh contributes to air pollution in North India during the wintertime. Sowmya Nandan talks to Sunila Dixit about the causes behind the stubble burning and the policy actions taken by the state governments to curb it.
  • All Things Policy: How Australia Sees the Indo-Pacific (11/2/2020) by Nitin Pai - In a historic development, Australia will join the Malabar naval exercise in November along with India, the US and Japan. High Commissioner Barry O’Farell joins Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane to talk about the exercise, bilateral ties with India, and the future of the Indo-Pacific.
  • All Things Policy: Understanding the Taliban’s Strategies for War and Peace (10/30/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - The United States, the Afghan government, and the Taliban are vying for advantage in the ongoing talks. In a conversation with Pranay Kotasthane and Aditya Ramanathan, Takshashila’s distinguished fellow, Anand Arni dissects the strategies of various players and what they mean for India.
  • All Things Policy: Reforming the Power Sector OR Can we have less power cuts? (10/29/2020) by Anupam Manur - Reforms are long overdue in India’s power sector. Does the recent draft Electricity Amendment Bill offer viable solutions? Anupam Manur and Sarthak Pradhan discuss the challenges India’s power sector faces and analyze whether the draft bill provisions can address them.
  • All Things Policy: Is Herd Immunity a Viable Strategy for COVID-19? (10/28/2020) by Sunila Dixit - A recent declaration from a group of experts calls for a different strategy to deal with COVID-19: one of achieving herd immunity while protecting the vulnerable. The majority of experts oppose this, pointing out that the idea is impractical and that there are no alternatives to robust public health measures. Sunila Dixit and Shambhavi Naik […]
  • All Things Policy: Making Content Policy for Hate Speech (10/27/2020) by Prateek Waghre - It has been a busy time for content moderation and social media. Facebook has updated its policy on holocaust denial and Delhi’s Peace and Harmony Committee recently talked about the outcomes of content moderation practices on Facebook. Manoj Kewalramani talks to Prateek Waghre and Rohan Seth for analysis on developments. Link to register for our […]
  • All Things Policy: The Paradoxes of Pakistani Politics (10/26/2020) by Anand Arni - What’s fuelling political instability in Pakistan? Why are opposition parties rallying behind former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – and against army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa? Has the COVID-19 pandemic altered Pakistani politics? In a conversation with Suyash Desai, Pranay Kotasthane and Anand Arni try and unpack the dramatic developments in Pakistan.
  • All Things Policy: Who Really Wrote the Arthashastra? (10/23/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Arthashastra is famously believed to have been composed by Chanakya, the prime minister of Chandragupta Maurya. But a new wave of scholarship is challenging that idea. Was Chanakya real? Who really wrote the Arthashastra, and what does it tell us about the literature, courts and politics of both modern and ancient India? To get […]
  • All Things Policy: Submarine Cables: Why They Matter and Who Threatens Them (10/22/2020) by Aditya Pareek - Around 97% of all global communications are facilitated by submarine telecom cables. These cables, and the online connectivity they enable, are crucial to India’s economic recovery and progress. What are the possible threats to these cables? And how can India secure them? Anirudh Kanisetti joins Aditya Pareek to discuss. You can find Aditya Pareek’s research […]
  • All Things Policy: Mental Health and the Pandemic (10/21/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Prolonged periods of isolation and loss of jobs due to COVID-19 have resulted in rising cases of suicide, depression, and anxiety. Open conversations about mental health are the best way to address the stigma surrounding it. Sunila Dixit talks to Ann John of Global Youth Mental Health awareness about various aspects of mental health and […]
  • All Things Policy: To Break or Not to Break: Discussing the US Congressional Report on Antitrust (10/20/2020) by Rohan Seth - The US Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law came out with a 449-page report on monopoly power in digital markets. How might recommendations from this report impact the functioning of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook across different countries? Anupam Manur and Rohan Seth join Prateek Waghre in reading the fine print. Link to the […]
  • All Things Policy: What’s Happening in Space? (10/19/2020) by Suyash Desai - It’s been an eventful couple of weeks in matters relating to space, with eight nations signing an agreement on moon exploration and new advances in the reusable craft. Suyash Desai talks to Aditya Pareek about these developments and more. You can check out Aditya Pareek’s newsletter Space Matters here: https://takshashila.org.in/space-matters-v-0-1/
  • All Things Policy: How the Portuguese Influenced India’s Culture (10/16/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - From a transformation of cuisines to vanishing creole languages to loan words we use every day, the influence of Portugal on the fabric of life in the subcontinent is endlessly fascinating. Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan join author Karthik Malli to discuss his research into this little-understood subject. Check out Aditya and Anirudh’s episode of […]
  • All Things Policy: The Hidden Realities Behind Crime Statistics (10/15/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - What state has the worst crime rates? That’s not easy to tell because crime statistics in India aren’t always accurate reflections of the actual crime situation. In this episode, Sowmya Nandan and Sarthak Pradhan discuss the origins of this problem and how it can be tackled.
  • All Things Policy: China’s Blueprint for Data Security (10/14/2020) by Rohan Seth - China recently launched the Global Data Security Initiative, laying out eight important principles. One of these principles talks about the need to use judicial processes to provide law enforcement access to data. That spells bad news for India. Prateek Waghre talks to Manoj Kewalramani and Rohan Seth to discuss the fine print. Link to Manoj […]
  • All Things Policy: The Trials and Tribulations of ASHAs (10/13/2020) by Sunila Dixit - Why did India’s auxiliary health workers, the ASHAs, go on strike? Sunila Dixit talks to Anirudh Kanisetti about the challenges ASHAs have faced – the increased burden from the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of protective equipment, and delays in salaries -and what can be done about it. Check out our previous podcast with Soumya Kapoor […]
  • All Things Policy: Taiwan’s China Threat (10/12/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Tensions between China and Taiwan are on the rise due to repeated Chinese military drills and activities in the Taiwan Strait. In this episode, Manoj and Suyash talk to Sunila about what it means for the future of China-Taiwan relations, and what should India’s Taiwan policy be. Check out our previous podcast on Taiwan: https://ivmpodcasts.com/all-things-policy-episode-list/2020/8/17/ep-392-pivoting-towards-taiwan Our […]
  • All Things Policy: How Can States Help Themselves? (10/9/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - The stalemate between the Union and the states with regards to GST compensation continues. Even if it is resolved, it is going to be a temporary fix. States will need to explore ways to leverage their untapped revenue generation potential. In this episode, Pranay and Sarthak discuss how states can reduce their financial dependence on […]
  • All Things Policy: Does Facebook Risk Antitrust Action? (10/8/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Facebook reportedly aims to integrate Messenger and Instagram Direct. While this may have been in the works all along, it’s now stirring murmurs about US antitrust action. Aditya Ramanathan joins Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre to break down recent events. Rohan’s column: https://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/041020/tech-this-week-facebook-services-integration-comes-with-trade-offs.html Steven Levy’s book: https://www.amazon.in/Facebook-Inside-Story-Steven-Levy-ebook/dp/B081R296DR/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=facebook+the+inside+story&qid=1601961536&sr=8-2
  • All Things Policy: Ethics in Clinical Trials (10/7/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - ICMR’s 2017 ethical guidelines need a revision, with more focus on fundamental principles that govern the moral decisions and on ethical dilemmas that arise while conducting clinical trials/biomedical and health research. Sowmya Nandan talks to Sunila Dixit and Shambhavi Naik about the evolution of ethical guidelines in India and about the proposed ethical guidance questionnaire […]
  • All Things Policy: How Should We Disagree Online? (10/6/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Interventions against problematic discourse online can result in amplifying it due a combination of group dynamics and algorithmic reward. For example, retweeting something controversial to debunk it might end up making it more popular. How can different participants – such as states, societies, platforms, and the media – position themselves in the face of such […]
  • All Things Policy: Choppy Waters in the South China Sea (10/5/2020) by Suyash Desai - As China asserts itself once again in the South China Sea, the United States outlines a new position, and regional actors react cautiously, Suyash Desai discusses the latest development and India’s options in a conversation with Sunila Dixit and Aditya Ramanathan.
  • All Things Policy: How China’s Belt and Road Initiative is Adapting to COVID (10/1/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Even as the world is buffeted by a global pandemic and massive economic slowdowns, China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is quietly adapting to the new realities. In a conversation with Rohan Seth and Aditya Ramanathan, Manoj Kewalramani discusses Beijing’s strategy and the risks that still lie ahead for BRI. You can read the […]
  • All Things Policy: Celebrities and Vaccines, From the 19th Century to the Present (9/30/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Can celebrities help build trust in a new vaccine? Shambhavi Naik and Anirudh Kanisetti talk to Aditya Ramanathan about the historical role celebrities have played in facilitating vaccinations in India since the early 1800s and why authorities could use platforms like the IPL to do so again. On the Mysorean queens who helped popularise vaccination: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-india-53944723 […]
  • All Things Policy: Online Fashion Vs Amazon (9/29/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Why did the Competition Commission of India rule in favour of Amazon in an antitrust case brought by a fashion brand? Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre discuss this ruling and its implications. The CCI order can be found here: (https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/09-of-2020.pdf)
  • All Things Policy: Why Great Powers Procrastinate (9/28/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Why did the United States aid and abet China’s rise instead of “strangling the baby in the cradle”? Manoj Kewalramani, Pranay Kotasthane, and Aditya Ramanathan discuss the arguments of political scientist David Edelstein, who offers fascinating explanations for why rivals cooperate. You’ll find a pithy explanation of David Edelstein’s framework on Pranay’s newsletter: https://publicpolicy.substack.com/p/70-concentrated-costs-diffused-benefits You […]
  • All Things Policy: India’s Sea War Against Germany and Japan (9/25/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - From 1939 to 1945, the Royal Indian Navy fought on the high seas in the greatest conflict in human history. In this episode, Commodore Odakkal Johnson, director of the Maritime History Society joins Aditya Ramanathan and Aditya Pareek to talk about the Royal Indian Navy’s exploits and its legacy. Commodore Odakkal Johnson’s Book: (https://amzn.to/3kO59sD)
  • All Things Policy: Reforming the Information Technology Act (9/24/2020) by Rohan Seth - The Internet in India is governed by the IT Act. But the powers this law gives the state need to be balanced with due process and adequate safeguards. Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre are joined by Gopal Jain, a Supreme Court advocate and advisor to the Esya Centre to talk about reforming the IT Act […]
  • All Things Policy: Military Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future (9/23/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Recent Pentagon reports indicate that China is quickly leveling the scales against the US by building up its military. New frontiers in military technology are constantly being pushed, from hypersonic missiles to satellite-based systems. Aditya Ramanathan and Anirudh Kanisetti take a step back to understand the phenomenon of military revolutions and how they’ve shaped global […]
  • All Things Policy: Serosurveys and the True Picture of the Pandemic in India (9/22/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - India’s national and state/city level serosurveys have come up with concerning results. The disparity between the estimated number of cases based on seroprevalence and the actual number of cases reported is, in some cases, nearly 500 to 600 times off the mark, with serious implications on our knowledge of how the pandemic is spreading and […]
  • All Things Policy: Inside China’s National Security State (9/21/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Ever since Xi Jinping assumed power in China in late 2012, concerns about domestic stability, external challenges, and the resilience of Party rule have led to the building of a national security state. How has the Chinese constructed this apparatus? What role do the anti-corruption and rectification campaigns play? Aditya Ramanathan speaks to Suyash Desai […]
  • All Things Policy: Whose History is it Anyway? (9/18/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Do statues, monuments and buildings represent history? Or just the preoccupations of those that erected them? Should statues of problematic figures be taken down? Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan join Manoj Kewalramani to debate the vexed questions around the commemoration of the history and the modern politics of statues.
  • All Things Policy: The Wicked Problem of Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour (9/17/2020) by Prateek Waghre - CIB or Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour is a precise-sounding term that remains imprecise. As the recent Buzzfeed exposé on Facebook highlights, platform action against such activities is often subjective and haphazard. How are narratives manipulated on platforms? How can platforms address this? What could be the consequences? Manoj Kewalramani discusses with Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre. […]
  • All Things Policy: Why Neglecting Opportunity Costs Leads to Bad Policy (9/16/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative that is foregone when exercising a particular option. Any good public policy needs to take this into account, to avoid an inefficient allocation of scarce resources. Pranay Kotasthane and Sarthak Pradhan discuss the concept of opportunity cost neglect and its public policy implications across sectors. […]
  • All Things Policy: How Can We Vaccinate India? (9/15/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Once a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 is available, who should get inoculated first? And how will India vaccinate at least 800 million of its citizens? Shambhavi Naik and Ameya Paleja discuss their new vaccine strategy with Anirudh Kanisetti.
  • All Things Policy: Making Sense of the LAC Standoff (9/14/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Is the joint statement between India and China on 10th September a sign that the two sides are finding a way to end their standoff on the LAC? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to analyse the ground situation, the diplomatic maneuvers, and the prospects for defusing the ongoing crisis.
  • Diplomacy in Decline: How India is Navigating China’s Rise (9/13/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai were featured on The National Bureau of Asian Research’s Asia Insight podcast, discussing the India-China relationship and the argument for India to emerge as a swing state amid the Sino-US rivalry. You can listen to the full episode here.
  • Pakistan’s Sub-Conventional Warfare and India’s Options (9/13/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - Pranay was on The BridgeProject podcast to talk about Pakistan’s strategy of sub-conventional warfare and India’s likely response options. Listen to the full episode here:
  • All Things Policy: When Japan Tried to Invade China (9/11/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - The Imjin War of the late sixteenth century changed the fates of Japan, Korea, and China. But what was it all about? And why does it have such a powerful grip on modern imaginations? Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Pareek join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss what modern scholarship tells us about this pivotal conflict.
  • All Things Policy: Should the State Set Rules for Content Moderation? (9/10/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Reports suggest that India is looking to formulate guidelines for consistent content moderation across social media platforms. What triggered this development? Is it better than the status quo? Will uniform rules lead to content cartels? Rohan Seth and Prateek Waghre join Sowmya Nanadan to discuss.
  • All Things Policy: How to Increase India’s State Capacity (9/9/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - As India struggles with the COVID19 pandemic, questions about the capacity of the state have come to the forefront. What are the factors which influence state capacity? What can we do to bolster it? Policy wonks Shruthi Badri and Rachit Seth talk to Sarthak Pradhan on the current scenario and possible solutions to improve it.
  • All Things Policy: Should the Government Collect Health Data? (9/8/2020) by Prateek Waghre - The new National Health Data Management Policy creates a framework for collecting citizens’ medical data. Sunila Dixit, Shambhavi Naik, and Prateek Waghre discuss the provisions of this policy, and what it means for health and privacy.
  • All Things Policy: China Military Report (9/7/2020) by Suyash Desai - The Pentagon’s 2020 China Military Power report emphasizes the advances made by the Chinese armed forces towards achieving “world-class” force status. Manoj Kewalramani speaks to Suyash Desai to get a breakdown of the key aspects covered in the report.
  • All Things Policy: How Can India be More Disabled Friendly? (9/3/2020) by Sunila Dixit - The United Nations has released its first-ever guidelines on making justice systems more accessible to people with disabilities. India has the Right to Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, but its implementation is patchy. Sowmya Nandan talks to Sunila Dixit about the UN guidelines and how they contrast with the realities that the disabled face in […]
  • All Things Policy: How the Pandemic Has Affected Indian Women (9/2/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - As the Indian economy struggles with the aftermath of lockdowns and preexisting problems, COVID-19 has now spread across the length and breadth of the country. One of the most serious consequences of the pandemic is the way it has impacted women: India already had one of the world’s lowest female labour force participation rates, which […]
  • All Things Policy: Can Our Public Spaces Return to Normalcy? (9/1/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The pandemic has transformed attitudes towards public spaces like schools, movie theatres, and offices. When can these return to normalcy? And how? Rohan Seth talks to Shambhavi Naik to better understand the state of play and is later joined by Yatin K Thakur from the Indian Workspace Association to understand the impact the pandemic has […]
  • All Things Policy: Strategic Autonomy: What It Means for India (8/31/2020) by Suyash Desai - As India’s relations with China deteriorate, what sort of ties should it seek with the United States? Lt General Prakash Menon talks to Suyash Desai and Aditya Ramanathan about the way ahead.
  • All Things Policy: The Forgotten Heritage of the Deccan (8/28/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - From the 14th to the 17th centuries, the Sultanates of the Deccan embarked on a remarkable experiment in globalisation and regionalisation. This is reflected in their art, politics, and culture, but especially in their language. Independent researcher and journalist Karthik Malli joins Anirudh Kanisetti for a wide-ranging conversation in the vibrant history of the Dakhni […]
  • All Things Policy: The Scale of the Pandemic in India (8/27/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - Serosurveys conducted in Mumbai, Delhi, and Pune have thrown up some interesting findings on the possible scale of COVID-19 infection in India, showing a huge difference between the prevalence of infected persons and the number of confirmed cases. Sowmya talks to Shambhavi and Sunila about these findings and what their implications could be.
  • All Things Policy: Revamping India’s Labour Laws (8/26/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Labour laws in India are complex and rigid. In the last few months, several state governments have announced changes to these old rules. But are the steps in the right direction? Anupam Manur and Sarthak Pradhan discuss.
  • All Things Policy: WhatsApp Pay Antitrust case (8/25/2020) by Prateek Waghre - In a forty-one page order, The Competition Commission of India (CCI) last week ruled on an antitrust case on WhatsApp’s upcoming payments service. The order raised several crucial points, including the timing of the case and the current landscape of the Indian UPI payments space. Rohan Seth discusses the decision to rule in favour of […]
  • All Things Policy: Does History Shape Foreign Policy? (8/24/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Public discourse often attempts to explain the actions of nation-states through “civilisational worldviews”. China, for example, is believed to have a “Middle Kingdom” approach to foreign policy, while some claim that India’s foreign policy follows in the footsteps of Kautilya’s Arthashastra. But is that really the case? Do nation-states develop foreign policies drawing on the […]
  • All Things Policy: An Extraordinary Life in the British Raj (8/21/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Stuck in the trenches of the Western Front in Europe, a soldier named Mir Mast took a very important decision that sent him on a remarkable journey through the 20th century world. Involving family honour, espionage, and royals from Germany to Afghanistan, his life provides a fascinating insight into colonial India before the rise of […]
  • All Things Policy: Restructuring India’s Public Health Sector (8/20/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suffers from a lack of clear division of responsibilities, a platform for inter-sectoral coordination and conflicts of interest. These weaknesses have become more apparent in the light of the pandemic, as the public health response has been anchored in the ICMR, which is primarily a research body. India […]
  • Podcast: Integration of Space into the Indian Armed Forces (8/20/2020) by Prakash Menon - Lt. Gen. (Retd) Prakash Menon provides an overview of the utility of space capabilities by the Indian armed forces. We discuss the historical context and connect it to the present day requirements. The challenges of involving the local industry to support the space-based requirements of the Indian armed forces presented eloquently by Gen. Menon.Click here […]
  • All Things Policy: Regulating India’s Wet Markets (8/19/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - While a wet market in Wuhan has become notorious for being the likely place of origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, some of India’s own wet markets are plagued by problems like unhygienic conditions and the sale of endangered species. How can they be regulated? Shambhavi Naik and Sarthak Pradhan talk to Aditya Ramanathan.
  • All Things Policy: How Big Tech Sees the World (8/18/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Geographies and domestic politics have a profound impact on how big tech operates. This is evident when we examine the stance tech companies have taken on racial justice issues in the US, compared to protests in Hong Kong or intermediary liability in Pakistan. Anirudh Kanisetti talks to Prateek Waghre and Rohan Seth to understand what […]
  • All Things Policy: Pivoting towards Taiwan (8/17/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - The standoff in Eastern Ladakh has led to a number of calls for India to deepen the relationship with Taiwan. In this episode, Manoj Kewalramani speaks to Sana Hashmi, Taiwan Fellow at the Institute of International Relations, National Chengchi University, about the history and future of India’s engagement with Taiwan. Sana Hashmi’s recent writings: https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/it-is-time-for-india-to-invest-in-ties-with-taiwan/story-HCNTqDMTDEk4WazS3aqKmJ.html […]
  • All Things Policy: The Secrets of Bengaluru’s Past (8/14/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The recorded history of Bengaluru, one of India’s most dynamic cities, goes back well over a thousand years. However, it’s a past that offers us only the most tantalising glimpses – through hero stones, inscriptions, and elegant temples. Anirudh Kanisetti joins Aditya Ramanathan to provide us a vivid retelling of this history from the Chalukyas […]
  • All Things Policy: Ensuring Nutrition Amid a Pandemic (8/13/2020) by Sunila Dixit - COVID-19 has worsened the problem of malnutrition in India because it has disrupted two critical programmes: the ICDS and Mid-Day Meal Scheme. However, after initial setbacks, the Union and state governments, with support from the World Food Programme (WFP), have worked to ensure food is delivered to those that need it the most. Sunila Dixit […]
  • All Things Policy: Reforming India’s Agricultural Markets (8/12/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Agricultural markets in India have long been characterized by multiple trade barriers and uncompetitive policies. The Union government has passed three ordinances permitting trade outside the physical boundaries of the Agricultural Produce Market Committees, facilitating contract farming and easing restrictions under the Essential Commodities Act. Sarthak Pradhan and Anupam Manur analyze the potential impact of […]
  • All Things Policy: The Promise and Perils of Facial Recognition (8/11/2020) by Rohan Seth - Facial recognition technology and its applications have been advancing, even in the absence of adequate privacy laws. Facial data is personal, sensitive, and potentially permanent – and it is being used for a wide range of applications in India and around the world. But are we addressing the challenges that come with this technology? Anushka […]
  • All Things Policy: Confucian Confusion: India Reviews Work of CIs (8/10/2020) by Suyash Desai - Amid the standoff at the LAC, the Indian government is reportedly reviewing the work of Confucius Institutes in the country. These institutes have come under increasing scrutiny around the world over the past few years. But what do we know about their operations? Is a crackdown in India warranted? And what could be the consequences? […]
  • All Things Policy: Gender and the Indian City (8/7/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Are Indian cities equal spaces for everyone? Do social expectations determine how accepting an urban space is to people of different genders? What do gender relations in our homes have to do with the way we live in cities? Anirudh Kanisetti speaks to Roshni Kannan of CEPT Ahmedabad to find out.
  • All Things Policy: Is India Prepared for Gene Edited Humans? (8/6/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The technology to modify the human genome is here, potentially signaling a transformation of societies and economies. In the light of WHO’s draft framework on governing human gene editing, Anirudh and Shambhavi discuss the ethical dilemmas, scientific challenges, and opportunities in store, and what India needs to do about them.
  • All Things Policy: The Puzzle of Tech Clusters (8/5/2020) by Sarthak Pradhan - Tech clusters play a leading role in fostering innovation, creating jobs, and attracting investments. In this episode, Sarthak Pradhan and Pranay Kotasthane discuss what makes tech clusters work, whether we have them in India, and what governments can do to encourage them.
  • All Things Policy: Antitrust Enquiry and Tech Giants (8/4/2020) by Anupam Manur - Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and Jeff Bezos attended an antitrust enquiry last week. The tech giants were grilled on issues ranging from anti-conservative bias to platform neutrality. The results of this enquiry may very well signal the beginning of the end for big tech as we know it. Anupam Manur and Rohan Seth […]
  • All Things Policy: Securing the Future: India’s Options Amid the LAC Standoff (8/3/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - While India and China are in talks to disengage in Eastern Ladakh, what are the long-term implications of the standoff for bilateral ties? Manoj Kewalramani talks to Ambassador Nirupama Rao and Lt. General Prakash Menon on the measures that India should adopt to ensure security and stability with regard to the China challenge.
  • All Things Policy: Did India Win in Doklam? (7/31/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - The 2017 India-China standoff in Doklam, at a crucial trijunction between India, China, and Bhutan, was widely hailed as a victory for India. But was it? In the light of new satellite imagery, Anirudh Kanisetti speaks to Lt General Prakash Menon about India and China’s takeaways from the standoff, and how they continue to influence […]
  • All Things Policy: Disconnecting From Huawei (7/30/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - The past few weeks have been tough for Huawei, as the UK and France have moved to reduce their dependence on it for their 5G networks. What’s prompted this change? Is India also likely to follow suit? Manoj Kewalramani and Pranay Kotasthane talk about recent developments and their implications.
  • All Things Policy: The Twitter Hack and Data Protection (7/29/2020) by Rohan Seth - Twitter’s recent hack has raised concerns about data protection. But would the current Indian Data Protection Bill, which is being reviewed by Parliament, have been effective in tackling these concerns? Manoj Kewalramani and Rohan Seth examine the fine print. Bill Summary: (https://www.prsindia.org/node/843845/chapters-at-a-glance) Check out Rohan’s article over here: (https://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/180720/tech-this-week-the-personal-data-protection-bill-in-the-context-of-t.html)
  • Polar geopolitics All Things Policy: India’s Arctic Ambitions (7/28/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Why should India care about what happens in the polar regions? And why has it sought greater influence in Arctic governance? Aditya Ramanathan talks to Anirudh Kanisetti about India’s fascinating history of polar diplomacy.
  • underwater aircraft carriers All Things Policy: Why Don’t We Have Underwater Aircraft Carriers? (7/27/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - In the Second World War, Japan tried to develop a whole class of submarines that worked as small aircraft carriers. Why did the idea not catch on after 1945? Why do some military innovations reach a dead-end? Anirudh Kanisettti and Aditya Ramanathan delve into this fascinating case study.
  • history, memoirs All Things Policy: Personal Memory and History (7/24/2020) by Ganesh Chakravarthi - Why do diaries written in times of tumult have such appeal to us even today? What place do they hold in history? Manoj Kewalramani and Ganesh Chakravarthi discuss how personal, anecdotal, and first person perspectives shape our understanding of the past.
  • All Things Policy: The Grand Challenge of Weaponising the Economy (7/23/2020) by Aditya Ramanathan - Economic interdependence was supposed to bring peace but it also gives states the leverage they can use to coerce each other. Manoj Kewalramani talks to Pranay Kotasthane and Aditya Ramanathan about how economic coercion works and what lessons countries like India can learn.
  • All Things Policy: Beijing’s Bid for Supremacy in the South China Sea (7/22/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - Even as China seeks to enforce its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the United States has reacted strongly. What are China’s aims in the region? And how should India react? Suyash Desai and Manoj Kewalramani join Aditya Ramanathan to examine the current situation and discuss India’s role in it.
  • All Things Policy: Getting Children Back to Schooling (7/21/2020) by Sunila Dixit - The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on school education. But if schools can’t open, how can students continue their education in a country with limited Internet access? Takshashila’s Sunila Dixit talks to Prateek Waghre about some concrete steps authorities can take to get children back to learning.
  • COVID testing All Things Policy: How to do More COVID-19 Testing (7/20/2020) by Pranay Kotasthane - India has no shortage of diagnostic labs but it isn’t testing enough people for COVID-19. To understand why, Takshashila’s Pranay Kotasthane talks to NIPFP researchers Harleen Kaur and Siddhartha Srivastava and molecular biologist Ameya Paleja about the complex regulatory and legal tangle around testing and what can be done about it.
  • covid vaccine All Things Policy: A COVID-19 Vaccine Made in India? (7/17/2020) by Shambhavi Naik - The ICMR recently stoked controversy by asking hospitals to participate in clinical trials for developing a COVID-19 vaccine by August 15. Is this a realistic deadline? What does it tell us about the state of scientific research in India? How close are we, really, to a vaccine, and how will it be deployed? Anirudh Kanisetti […]
  • All Things Policy: How China Sees India (7/16/2020) by Manoj Kewalramani - How do China’s public policy thinkers and strategic community view India’s rise? How did social media in China react to the Galwan clash? Delhi Policy Group’s Antara Ghosal Singh joins Takshashila’s Manoj Kewalramani to talk about her research into Chinese debates on the relationship with India.
  • All Things Policy: Should Companies Boycott Social Media? (7/15/2020) by Prateek Waghre - Social media platforms, especially Facebook, have been facing an ad boycott from companies such as Unilever and Starbucks that are demanding they address concerns misinformation and hate speech online. Prateek Waghre and Rohan Seth go into the fine print of what’s happening and consider its unintended consequences.
  • india china border All Things Policy: A Mountain Strike Corps to Deter China? (7/14/2020) by Prakash Menon - As India considers its options to deter China along the LAC, some are pushing for a revival of the Mountain Strike Corps idea. But what is a Mountain Strike Corps? Why has it not taken shape for a decade? And is it the best way to tackle China in the Himalayas? Manoj Kewalramani speaks to […]
  • All Things Policy: State of India’s Judiciary (7/13/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - How has India’s judiciary functioned in India’s changing social conditions and political milieu? Are there differences in the way the Supreme Court, high courts, and district courts respond to these challenges? Alok Prasanna Kumar of the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy talks to Anirudh Kanisetti.
  • All Things Policy: Talking Turkey in India (7/10/2020) by Anirudh Kanisetti - Are there parallels between Turkish and Indian politics? Why has Turkey been drawn into the Middle East’s wars? And how do Turkey and India see each other? Journalist Madhuvanthi Srinivasan talks to Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan about one of the region’s most powerful and fascinating countries.
  • All Things Policy: Crafting India’s Strategy for China (7/9/2020) by Suyash Desai - Should India balance against China by drawing closer to the United States? Or should it adopt a more subtle strategy that allows it to keep its options open? Historian and strategist Zorawar Daulet Singh talks to Aditya Ramanathan and Suyash Desai about what India must do.